5 top tips to get to grips with energy bills
Energy bills can seem like a minefield, from figuring out whether you’re getting a good deal, to fearing sudden high bills and negotiating spiders in the meter cupboard - it’s a typical life admin task that’s forever falling to the bottom of the list.
With the cost-of-living crisis everyone’s energy bills are creeping up. More than 54% of adults in the UK are using less energy in their homes because of this.
Getting on top of your utility bills is easier than you might think, a great way to save money and watch your usage, which is better for the environment too. Here are 5 simple steps to help you regain control and bathe in lower-stress utilities.
These tips are part of something bigger. At Hubbub, we want to see a world where everyone makes choices that are good for the environment. Check out what we do and how your actions add up.
1) If you only do one thing... check you’re getting the best deal
Money Saving Expert says many households could save a whopping £350 a year by switching energy provider! Getting stuck on a pricey energy contract is easily done, you check it once, diligently pay your bills and months later realise you’ve been paying way more than you needed to. If you need a little nudge to get the right deal, then a great place to start is MSE's cheap energy club comparison. They’ll notify you when there’s a cheapest supplier available, depending on what saving you’d be willing to switch for. Many providers give incentives to switch (especially if you refer a friend) and you can often save by combining heating and electricity and paying by Direct Debit. If you’re renting you have the right to switch too. And don’t worry, switching provider won’t mean you get cut off, all that changes is which company bills you.
2) Read, read, read that meter
The best way to only pay for what you use is to submit actual meter readings. If you don’t your energy provider will sometimes use estimated readings which are based upon average or historic consumption, meaning you might pay more than you need to or get stung with a higher bill later on. Add a reminder in your calendar to make it a habit. Citizens Advice has a useful guide for how to read your meters.
3) Get smarter
Smart meters are a relatively new type of gas and electricity meter that automatically send energy data to your supplier - and every UK household will be offered one by June 2025. Automatic readings mean no more scrabbling around in a dark cupboard to check your meter, and no more estimated bills where inaccurate readings charge you too much (or too little, with a hefty bill to follow later!). Instead, you get a handy in-home display that does all the work for you and shows how much energy you are using in real time. Some energy suppliers are even offering exclusive deals for homes willing to have a smart meter fitted at the start of their contract, so they can start saving you money before they're even installed! It's also a powerful tool to see how much energy and money it really costs to do activities like using the tumble dryer or having extra-long showers - great for keeping track if you're trying to cut down your usage and might just convince you to even if you're not!
4) Go paperless, try a Direct Debit
Going paperless can make it a lot easier to keep track of your usage (and saves trees too). Most providers offer an online account or app that’s quick and easy to log into, submit meter readings and contact your energy supplier with any queries, which will save you listening to questionable call centre queue playlists! Some even charge less if you opt to go paperless and pay by Direct Debit, saving you up to £85 per year (MSE).
5) Consider switching to green energy
Once you’re on top of how much you’re using and whether you’re getting a good deal, you could also consider switching to green energy. Renewable energy from sources like wind or solar are an amazingly easy way to reduce your carbon footprint, and just a few clicks of a (wind powered) button with energy comparison sites like Compare the Market and Uswitch which allow you to see the best deals, inform your decision making and perhaps save money too.
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