Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.
Since we want you to be a savvy saver, our main advice will always be to switch supplier and use comparison sites to save on your bills. But if you really can’t be bothered – and lots of you tell us you can’t – there are other ways to save money.
Switching to a cheaper provider is always a good idea if you want to save money on your utility bills. But there’re lots of other ways you can be a savvy saver – without effort.
The key is to change a few habits and install one or two simple heat-savers in your home.
You can save hundreds of pounds following our simple ideas:
Quick, easy, effective. You’ll save serious money without switching!
On the flip side – why not encourage your mates to pay less for their bills?
If you’re happy with your provider and they offer you the cheapest possible energy and gas, check if they’ll pay you to refer a friend.
Companies such as Bulb or Pure Planet offer around £40-50 if you refer a friend and they switch – and they’ll often credit your friend’s account with a welcome bonus, too.
You’ll earn money and help your friends. Win win.
You can do a lot of things in your home to make it cheaper to heat without effort.
Check out our popular article here on how to cut out the winter chills on a budget. Things like putting tin foil behind the radiators, making thermal curtains (top tip: use a shower curtain) and putting some cheap insulation tape around the windows and doors will make a huge difference.
Even if you’re not huge on DIY (and I’m not!), these are easy fixes that anyone can do.
By saving your money you can save the planet.
You’ll find from our article here how to save on heating bills by being green. Help the planet with these green ideas and save yourself a bundle at the same time.
The article also has a list of potential grants you can get to make your home more energy-efficient. Admittedly, there aren’t as many as there used to be (surprise, surprise) and some parts of the country offer more (Scotland and Wales particularly). But you never know – it’s worth checking out.
Now this really is an easy win.
Smart meters are free to install and they can help you bring your bills down because they show you how much electricity you’re using at any given time. Clever, right?
Smart meters are particularly helpful for families. The kids could have all the electric fires on while playing video games all evening, using up more electricity than you could imagine. The meter will help you keep track of what’s going on in the house.
To get a smart meter, contact your energy provider and they’ll fit one for you free of charge. If they can’t sort it out right now, ask them to register your details so you can get one as soon as they’re available.
If you’re struggling because you’re on benefits, disabled or a pensioner, don’t worry. You can get extra help with your heating bills.
This Government scheme could save you £140 on your annual heating bills.
It’s aimed at people who are struggling to pay their bills because they’re on pension benefits or using a pay-as-you-go meter. Even if neither of those apply to you, it’s still worth applying if you need help. You never know.
As you can find from the site on the scheme, the money isn’t paid to you. It’s a one-off discount on your heating bills from October to March. It only applies to certain utility companies but you can check on the Gov.uk page if yours is on the list.
If you’re a pensioner and struggling with your utility bills, there’re many options. Start by reading our very popular article on Benefits for the Over-60s. It explains what financial help you can get for your day-to-day bills, particularly heating.
Check out our article on Disability Benefits here to see if you qualify for any extra help – including support with heating bills.
And finally, there’re two sites you might find particularly helpful for finding out what benefits you could be entitled to right now:
Both have calculators where you simply put in your details to get a list of potential benefits you could claim.
An old boiler will cost you a lot more in terms of repairs, maintenance, and energy. An efficient boiler could slash your bills and makes it worth the initial investment.
Getting a new boiler is, however, a costly venture. If you’re worried you can’t afford the outlay, don’t worry: many companies offer interest-free finance to help you get a new boiler without a huge upfront payment. If you’re on benefits, on a low income, or disabled, you could also qualify for a free boiler through local schemes.
We’ll always encourage you to check if you can get cheaper deals elsewhere, so take a look at our comparison tool.
You should also check with your provider on different payment options. Typically, it works out much cheaper if you pay by direct debit.
Do you have other tips to help people cut their heating bills?
Tell us about them in the comments below.