Cutting your energy bills can often seem like a tough task, but if you plan correctly and build changes into your daily routine, there are plenty of savings to be found. We've put together some top tips to get you started, making it easier to cut back and save your money for the finer things in life.
Track your energy usage
It sounds simple, but keeping track of energy consumption is the first step to saving. Noting monthly meter readings and comparing how they change is the only way to identify your biggest energy drains, and to know for sure whether your energy saving tricks are working.
You can even make the most of a range of new apps and programmes to help you stay in the know. Energy Consumption Analyzer is free on Google Play, and creates handy graphics from your data to make it simple to understand. To get a few saving tips with your analysis, iOS users can download the free Kill-Ur-Watts app.
There are plenty of simple ways to cut down on your gas and electricity use. Things like only boiling the amount of water you need, washing clothes on a cool (30-degrees or less) setting, and turning every appliance off when you leave the house are all great places to start. The easy bit is getting to know the most efficient way to use your kit - the hard part is changing your habits.
One way to do this is by changing your routines, but you can also use new technology to lend a helping hand. There are a number of innovative new advances that let you wrestle back control, including products like the Belkin WeMo switch, which lets you turn appliances on and off remotely.
Find the best deal
It has never been easier to compare gas and electricity suppliers for the best deals, but the most important thing is to find a package that's right for you. Dual fuel, direct debit and fixed price plans are just some of the options available to cut costs, and our advice for getting the best from your plans is to keep on top of how you play and how you pay.
Being clear about your usage and payment habits when comparing suppliers doesn't just give you the most realistic price plans, it also cuts your chances of facing high estimates and interest payments later on. Be sure to gather your supplier and tariff information, meter readings, bank statements and payment histories before taking a look at our comparison site.
If you own your property and have some money to invest, you might want to think about making a few long-term home improvements, including:
- Loft insulation
- Renewable boosts, like solar panels or wind turbines, which provide extra electricity that can even be sold back to the grid
- Replacing old windows/doors
- Cavity insulation
The cost of installing these can be high, though, so it's important to weigh up the benefits before splashing out.
Following these top tips will help you to take control of your energy bills, making it easier to save money and reach your life goals. Start by checking out the Money Dashboard price comparison checker, before signing up to our free budgeting software - you can see exactly how much your energy bills are costing each month, and how better off you are when you switch.