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How To Save On Household Bills
How To Save On Household Bills
How To Save On Household Bills
How To Save On Household Bills
How To Save On Household Bills
How To Save On Household Bills
How To Save On Household Bills
How To Save On Household Bills
How To Save On Household Bills
How To Save On Household Bills
How To Save On Household Bills
How To Save On Household Bills
How To Save On Household Bills
How To Save On Household Bills
How To Save On Household Bills
How To Save On Household Bills
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How To Save On Household Bills

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eBook from MyFamilyclub.co.uk - How To Save On Household Bills - Tips and Advice. Visit: http://www.myfamilyclub.co.uk/

eBook from MyFamilyclub.co.uk - How To Save On Household Bills - Tips and Advice. Visit: http://www.myfamilyclub.co.uk/

Published in: Self Improvement
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  • 1. IntroductionRunning a household is hugely expensive these days, and although you can’t do much aboutsome costs – like the mortgage or the rent – you can significantly cut other householdexpenses.This eBook gives you practical tips on how to reduce your household bills. You’ll find simplesteps that explain where you can make savings on your utility bills and other householdexpenses, as well as tips and tricks to help you save money on your electricity, gas and waterbills. 2
  • 2. ContentsIntroduction .......................................................................................................................... 2Chapter 1: How you can cut your household costs .................................................................. 5 Watch where the money goes ................................................................................................ 5 Read your meter .................................................................................................................. 5 Go for a bundle .................................................................................................................... 5 Claim cash incentives ........................................................................................................... 5 Generate your own energy .................................................................................................... 6 Change how you pay ............................................................................................................ 6 Waste less ........................................................................................................................... 6 Choose the right tariff ........................................................................................................... 6 Look into meters .................................................................................................................. 6 Switch supplier .................................................................................................................... 6Chapter 2: How to switch providers – and avoid the hidden costs ........................................... 8 1. Your needs ...................................................................................................................... 8 2. What’s included?.............................................................................................................. 8 3. Use comparison sites… ..................................................................................................... 8 4. …Then call the provider .................................................................................................... 8 5. Invite competition ............................................................................................................ 9 6. Opt short-term.................................................................................................................. 9 7. Avoid fixed tariffs ............................................................................................................ 9 8. Use the cooling-off period ................................................................................................. 9 9. Pay by direct debit ............................................................................................................ 9 10. Track your spend ............................................................................................................ 9Chapter 3: How to save on your electricity bill ..................................................................... 10 Upgrade your storage heaters .............................................................................................. 10 Wash wisely ...................................................................................................................... 10 Cooking ............................................................................................................................ 10 Switch to a cheaper fuel ...................................................................................................... 10 Energy efficient white goods ............................................................................................... 11 Fridge and freezer costs ...................................................................................................... 11 Switch off ......................................................................................................................... 11 Don’t fill the kettle ............................................................................................................. 11 Replace light bulbs ............................................................................................................. 11 Get an immersion timer ...................................................................................................... 12 3
  • 3. Chapter 4: How to save on your gas bill ............................................................................... 13 The right boiler .................................................................................................................. 13 Heating controls................................................................................................................. 13 Radiators .......................................................................................................................... 13 Toughen up ....................................................................................................................... 13 Cooking ............................................................................................................................ 13 Insulate your loft and cavity walls ........................................................................................ 14 Draught-proofing ............................................................................................................... 14Chapter 5: How to save on your water bill ........................................................................... 15 Switch to a water meter ...................................................................................................... 15 Check your water usage ...................................................................................................... 15 Read the meter................................................................................................................... 15 Water saving freebies ......................................................................................................... 15 Flush less often .................................................................................................................. 16 Turn the taps off ................................................................................................................ 16 Take a shower… ................................................................................................................ 16 … Or a reduced capacity bath .............................................................................................. 16 4
  • 4. Chapter 1: How you can cut your household costsEnergy bills can take a huge chunk out of the budget, but here are a few tips to helpbring them down.Watch where the money goesIf you want to see just where your money goes,invest in an energy monitor – a nifty handheldgadget which will show you at a glance wheresavings can be made. Turn off all yourappliances, then switch them back on one by one –you’ll soon see where you can cut down. Or trythe free home energy check atEnergySavingTrust.co.uk, which it claims couldsave you £250 per year.Read your meterDon’t ignore those emails that tell you it’s time to read the meter. If you don’t supply regularreadings your bills will be based on estimates, and you could end up shelling out for more gasor electricity than you use.Go for a bundleIt’s not quite two for the price of one, but many providers now offer internet, phone and TVpackages at a discount. Buying your gas and electricity from the same firm is also oftencheaper – but not always, so look around before you tie yourself in.Claim cash incentivesBelieve it or not there are people out there who want to give you money to make your homemore energy-efficient. Depending on your circumstances you could be eligible for grants ordiscounts to lessen the cost of loft and cavity wall insulation, draught proofing and centralheating – while the Renewable Heat Incentive offers cash to help with the cost of renewabletechnologies like heat pumps, biomass boilers and solar water heating. 5
  • 5. Generate your own energyFed up with price hikes from the ‘Big Six’ energy firms? Produce your own with renewabletechnologies and you’ll not only save on bills but could earn hard cash for selling any extraback to the national grid.Change how you payQuarterly bills can be a shock to the system, but change to direct debit and you’ll knowexactly what to pay when. Plus, lower admin costs make it cheaper to go paperless, so switchto an online plan and pocket the difference.Waste lessDay to day the best way to take the edge offhousehold bills is simply to waste lessenergy. There are plenty of ways to save,from using energy-efficient products tochanging your habits so you only use whatyou need. Below are a few more tips andtricks to help you save on your electricity,water and gas bills.Choose the right tariffDual fuel, prepay, fixed or green? There’s a ridiculous array of tariffs out there making ithard to compare like for like, but as a rule the cheapest tend to be dual fuel online deals.Don’t be fooled by advertising – think carefully about your needs and always read the smallprint before you sign on the dotted line.Look into metersHaving a meter can sometimes help us budget and cut costs on our utilities, particularly watermeters. As a rule of thumb, a house that has fewer occupants than bedrooms will save moneywith a meter.Switch supplierSix out of ten consumers have never changed supplier, but make the switch and you couldsave hundreds on your gas and electricity bills each year. Check out a comparison site, then 6
  • 6. call your current provider to see if they can match the best deals – but be wary of long-termcontracts which come with strict financial penalties if you want out later. Also, read on tofind out how to avoid the hidden costs of switching providers. 7
  • 7. Chapter 2: How to switch providers – and avoid the hidden costsSwitching your phone, broadband, TV or gas and electricity provider is supposed tosave money but all too often there are hidden costs. Follow these top ten tips to gettingthe most out of your switch…1. Your needsThink carefully about what you want fromyour new provider. For instance, do youusually use the phone at the weekends or doyou often call abroad? Is most of the energyused in the evening? By focusing on theneeds of your family, you can pinpoint whatyou’re looking for in your provider and notbe bamboozled by smooth marketing tactics.2. What’s included?Find out exactly what’s included – will you still retain your voicemail services? Is there aUK-based call centre if you need any help? Good customer service is sometimes worthpaying a bit extra for, so work out the best deal for you.3. Use comparison sites…Look on comparison websites for the best deal. It will save you a lot more time than goingthrough each provider separately. And consider a bundle package that incorporates broadbandand phone, and even TV, as this can work out cheaper.4. …Then call the providerOnce you’ve seen a deal that looks appealing, ringthe provider direct as comparison websites can addon their own commission. See if they have an evenbetter offer for you. 8
  • 8. 5. Invite competitionBefore you change providers, speak to someone on the customer service team at your currentcompany. It’s surprising what kind of offer can suddenly be arranged when they think one oftheir customers is about to defect to a competitor.6. Opt short-termBe wary of very large discounts. Usually big savings are offered in conjunction with a long-term contract. These can last up to two years. If you later decide you’ve chosen the wrongprovider and want to leave the contract early, then you could be subject to a substantialpenalty.7. Avoid fixed tariffsAvoid fixed energy tariffs. They guarantee the price you pay will stay the same for a setamount of time and help you budget, but if prices fall you could end up paying more for yourenergy. You’ll probably have to pay a premium for the privilege too. Instead, considerstandard or capped tariffs. Some companies still reserve the right to increase fixed energytariffs anyway, if the costs of raw commodities – such as oil and gas – rises.8. Use the cooling-off periodMake use of the cooling-off period provided by your new utility provider, when you have theright to change your mind about the transfer without being fined. Make time to look throughthe deal again before this window closes.9. Pay by direct debitIf you’ve always paid by cash or cheque, then consider setting up a direct debit. There areoften savings to be made, plus you don’t have to worry about incurring a fine for latepayment because it’s done for you.10. Track your spendWith regards to gas and electricity, look into energy-efficient grants for insulation and ensureyou read the meter on a regular basis. Double-check that your payments match the energyyou’ve been using. 9
  • 9. Chapter 3: How to save on your electricity billNeed an extra mortgage to pay your electricity bill? Try these tips to help save energyand cash.Upgrade your storage heatersStorage heaters can eat electricity, but if a new central heating system is out of the questionthink about upgrading your existing set-up. According to the Energy Saving Trust, new fan-assisted models with better controls could save you up to £150 per year.Wash wiselyUp to your neck in laundry? The average washing machine handles 274 loads each year, butstick to 30 degrees and you’ll use up to 40% less electricity than washing at highertemperatures. Gas tumble dryers use just 10% of the energy an electric model consumes, orbetter still hang your clothes out in warm weather and save £15 on your annual bill.CookingCooking accounts for about 4% of your electricity bill but you can still save money by beingmore energy-efficient in the kitchen. Don’t preheat the oven unless absolutely necessary,cook more than one dish at a time, and keep the door closed to prevent precious energyescaping. And if you’re just reheating – use a microwave. Switch to a cheaper fuel Electricity is by far the most expensive way to heat your home so switch to gas or oil wherever possible. Check out what financial assistance is available as you could be eligible for a grant to help with installation costs. 10
  • 10. Energy efficient white goodsDomestic appliances account for almost half of ourelectricity consumption, so if you’re replacing whitegoods like cookers, fridges and washing machines lookfor the EU energy label which tells you their energyefficient rating from A to G. Labels are required by lawand also include useful information on capacity, noiseand water consumption.Fridge and freezer costsIs your fridge working harder than it needs to? Give it a helping hand by letting food coolfirst, making sure seals are intact and not leaving the door open. Keep your freezer full,defrost regularly and try cleaning the condenser coils at the back as dust can stop it fromworking efficiently.Switch offIt’s a myth that gadgets don’t use power when they’re ‘sleeping.’ Leaving your TV instandby mode will just waste energy so either switch off, or get a standby saver whichautomatically cuts power after a set time. Additionally, switch off printers, speakers andmonitors and unplug chargers as soon as they’ve done their job.Don’t fill the kettleHeat your water more efficiently and even a simple cuppa could cost less. Figures show thatcould power a TV for a day on the energy wasted by overfilling the kettle, so top up lessoften, or invest in an eco-kettle which only heats the amount you need.Replace light bulbsIf you’re still using traditional light bulbs you could save £25 a year by switching to energysaving ones which use up to 80% less electricity and last around 10 times longer. Try fittinga dimmer to use even less power, and don’t fall for the myth that it’s cheaper to leave thelights on – switching them off will save energy whichever bulbs you use. 11
  • 11. Get an immersion timerDoes your immersion heater need to be on all day? Chances are you’re just wasting energy,so invest in a timer to make sure you’re only using what you need. Turn down thetemperature to 60% max, and insulate your tank to retain as much heat as possible. 12
  • 12. Chapter 4: How to save on your gas billDoes your gas bill make your eyes water? Here are a few ideas to help reduce energyconsumption and keep costs down.The right boilerIf your boiler is more than 10 years old you could be losing as much as half of the gas youpay for. A new condensing boiler will be 90-95% efficient, which means it converts over90% of the fuel it uses into heat, compared to 70% for a conventional boiler. Look for theEnergy Saving Recommended logo and get it serviced regularly – you’ll be less likely to forkout for emergency repairs later…Heating controls…. Get the right controls, however, and you could make your existing boiler more energy-efficient. Thermostatic radiator valves may sound like something from Dr Who but in factthey simply allow you to control the temperature of individual rooms by regulating the flowof hot water to the radiator. Also consider time controls, and room thermostats which switchthe heating off when the room reaches a set temperature.RadiatorsMake your radiators work a bit harder and according to USwitch you could save up to £140 ayear. A radiator booster uses a small fan to circulate heat more efficiently, while a simplereflector bounces heat back into the room that would normally be lost through the wall. Alsotry an automatic radiator bleeder, which releases trapped air saving you both energy and cash.Toughen upDo you really need to stay in a T-shirt year round? Turning down the heating by one degreecould save you up to 10% on your bills so put on a jumper before you reach for the controls.CookingCooking with gas is cheaper than electricity but there are still ways you can reduce theamount of energy you use in the kitchen. A hob energy saver means you’ll use less gas tocook, while the kettle will boil water more quickly than the stove. Use the right sized pan for 13
  • 13. the job, put in just enough water to cover your veg and always put the lid on to keep the heatin.Insulate your loft and cavity wallsThe average home loses around one third of its heat through the roof and walls, butincreasing your loft insulation to a depth of 270mm could save you £150 per year, whilecavity wall insulation could shave a further £100 from your bill. Both are inexpensive andquick to do, and if you’re on a low income you could also be eligible for a grant or discount.Draught-proofingWindows are the enemy of central heating, but a few simple measures could save you up to£50 a year according to the Energy Saving Trust. If double glazing isn’t an option, head toyour local hardware store for self-adhesive draught excluders to seal windows and doors.Keep the heat in by shutting curtains, closing doors between rooms and sealing up gapsbetween your floors and skirting boards. 14
  • 14. Chapter 5: How to save on your water billWith water bills set to soar to an average of £376, switching to a meter could save you10% off your annual costs. Here’s how to use water more wisely.Switch to a water meterWhen it comes to water the market isn’t open tocompetition, which means that unlike gas andelectricity you can’t shop around for a cheapersupplier. However you could still save money byswitching to a meter and just paying for the wateryou use. Whether it’s worth it depends on yourusage, but the general rule is that if you have more bedrooms than people in your house it’sworth looking into. Installation is free and you could cut 10% from your bill, plus if it doesturn out to be more expensive you can switch back within a year.Check your water usageIf you want to see just how much water your family gets through, check out the water energycalculator at EnergySavingTrust.co.uk. You’ll get a report which shows how much you usealong with quick wins to help you use water more wisely and save up to £150 per year.Read the meterAs with any utility, if your bills are based on estimates you could be shelling out when youdont need to. Most water companies say they will try to read your meter twice a year, but ifthey are unable to obtain a reading youll be sent an estimated bill. Reading your own meterregularly will ensure your bills are as accurate as possible as well as alerting you to any leaksin your system.Water saving freebiesMost water companies offer a range of freebies designed to help you save water, includingwater efficient showerheads, flush saver bags, bath buoys and shower timers. Check out theconsumer council for water to see what’s up for grabs in your area. 15
  • 15. Flush less oftenThe loo accounts for one third of domestic water consumption, so each time you go you’reflushing money down the pan. Think about how often you flush – is it really necessaryevery time? If you don’t have a dual flush toilet try a flush saver bag which sits inside thecistern and can save up to two litres of water each time.Turn the taps offA dripping tap can drive you mad but at just one drip per second it could also waste 15 litresof water each day, so turn taps fully off and change washers as soon as they start to drip.Don’t leave taps running when shaving or brushing your teeth and fill the sink with water towash dishes. Try fitting tap aerators which reduce flow rate and could save up to 12 litres aminute.Take a shower…A shower uses just 35 litres of water compared to 80 for a bath, but with a few tricks youcould save even more. A water efficient showerhead could cut water used by 30%, whileshaving just one minute off your daily shower could save you £10 over the year, so invest ina timer to help keep showers short.… Or a reduced capacity bathIf you still prefer a bath theres no reason why you cant save water as you go. A reducedcapacity bath is the same size as a traditional tub, but cleverly shaped inside so you need lesswater for the deep soak experience. And an inflatable bath buoy for the kids could save upto 30 litres of hot water each time, so even if youre not on a meter youll be saving money onall that water youre not heating. 16

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