Daily Mail

The cost of energy might fluctuate but it’s always expensive. According uSwitch the average energy bill now totals a chilling £1,062 a year.

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  • But you don’t have to splash out on brand-new appliances or expensive home improvements to start whittling this down to size. Here are 11 FREE ways to cut the cost of your energy bills, pound by pound.

    1. Switch off the lights

    One of the most obvious ways to cut your electricity bill is to switch off the lights as soon as you leave a room. The Energy Saving Trust (EST) estimates you can save £15 a year with this one small action, so why not make it a habit?

    Estimated saving: £15

    2. Cover floors and plug gaps

    Lack of insulation will only maintain cold temperatures, leading to a corresponding surge in heating bills. If you don’t have fitted carpets, use thick rugs on wooden floors to lock in warmth. And while you’re at it, draught-proof your home with old towels under the doors and some sealant or tape on windows and skirting boards. The result will be a discount of around £85 on your energy bills.

    Estimated saving: £85

    3. Nudge down your thermostat

    Turning down your thermostat by just a single degree can save up to £90 on your annual energy bill, according to the Energy Saving Trust. You’ll hardly notice the difference and it’s all money back in your wallet.

    Estimated saving: £90

    4. Avoid using standby mode  

    When your household appliances aren’t in use, most automatically revert to standby - but this quietly drains energy. You can turn most electrical appliances off directly at the mains, saving yourself around £30 a year in the process. (Note however that digital TV or satellite recorders may need to be kept in standby to properly function.)

    Estimated saving: £30

    5. Time your shower

    There’s nothing like a long, hot shower to unwind in winter. But, do you know how long you actually spend in there? And many of us also let the shower run for a minute or two before we get in. Cutting down your shower running time by just one minute will shave an easy £10 off your annual energy bill. And you can save a further £20 just by swapping one bath a week with a shower.

    Estimated saving: £30

    Do you know the true running costs of a home? Take our quiz to find out.

    6. Don’t leave the tap running when washing up

    Washing the dishes can be costly if you leave hot water running. So get into the habit of filling up the sink with hot suds instead. And if you have a dishwasher, don’t press go until it’s completely full.

    Estimated saving: £15

    7. Fill the kettle with what you need

    How many times a day do you fill up your kettle for tea? And do you fill it all the way every time? It’s estimated that three-quarters of all British households are in the habit of overfilling the kettle. By heating up just the right amount of water you need, you could knock another £7 off your energy bill.

    Estimated saving: £7

    8. Switch to a cheaper energy supplier

    Your current energy provider may not be the cheapest, which means it could pay to switch. It’s important to do your research first, though. Read the fine print on your existing contract to find out if there’s a cancellation penalty. When you are free to leave, use a comparison service like uSwitch to find the best deal for your circumstances.

    Estimated saving: £403 (uSwitch)

    9. Slide silver foil behind your radiator

    Putting silver foil down the back of radiators reflects heat back into the room and prevents its escape through the walls. Get the best fit by wrapping foil around pieces of cardboard and simply sliding it behind the radiator. (Note you won’t need to turn this trick if you already have cavity wall insulation.)

    Estimated saving: £15

    10. Leave your oven door open after cooking

    There’s nothing like a bit of cooking to warm up a kitchen. But when you’ve finished using the oven transfer that heat to the rest of the home by leaving the oven door open until it cools down.

    Estimated saving: £15

    11. Apply for energy-saving grants

    Five of the Big Six energy suppliers (British Gas, EDF, E.On. Npower and SSE)  offer grants for energy-saving improvements to British households, such as loft or cavity wall insulation or even a new boiler, although most of them only under certain criteria, such as being on Pension Credit or receiving certain benefits.

    You can find out if you (and your home) qualifies by calling providers direct. Or telephone the Energy Saving Trust on 0300 123 1234 for help and guidance. 

    Estimated saving: £300 

    Do you have any energy-saving tips to share? Tell us by posting a comment below...

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