Let’s face facts: no one likes forking out big bucks for utility bills. Household costs such as gas, water, electricity and broadband take up a sizeable chunk of our income, now more than ever; according to the experts at Regulator Ofgem, the typical gas and electricity customer is likely to see their bill go up by £139 to £1,277 a year Link opens in a new window. Yikes.
Not only do our utility bills have a huge impact on our bank balance, they also contribute to our carbon footprint, too. With the current chaos surrounding fuel supplies, the energy crisis wreaking havoc and with gas prices having soared to a record high after the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, it’s clear to see that the demand for energy has been significant. As a society, we now need to accept responsibility for the energy we use in our homes.
By simply changing your behaviour and gaining control of your costs, you’ll not only save money, but you’ll also save energy too – sounds like a win-win.
Be wary of your water use
Whether it’s sacrificing your daily soak in the bath or switching providers, there are many ways to save on both money and energy when it comes to regulating your water usage. Firstly, start by using a water usage calculator Link opens in a new window to find out how much water you’re using and how much money you’re spending. If you’re racking up a hefty water bill, switching to a water meter could save you a few hundred pounds a year Link opens in a new window, according to MoneyHelper.
You could also save cash and carbon emissions by reducing your water usage. Why not try cutting down the use of your dishwasher and washing machine? By whittling your washes down and doing smarter laundry loads, you’re likely to save a decent amount of money. If you’re partial to a long, steamy shower, switching to a water-efficient showerhead could save you a lot of money, as well as energy. Energy Saving Trust Link opens in a new window says that switching to a water-efficient shower head could save a household of four people up to £30 a year on gas for water heating.
Another easy and eco-friendly way to save water is by being less generous with your water quantities when making a cuppa; only fill the kettle with the amount of water you actually need, rather than boiling enough brews for every man and his dog. We know, it’s a tough hill for most Brits to climb, but it’s one we must take in our stride(!).
Give your gas bill some thought
With the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the current energy crisis, as well as the energy price cap increasing, keeping your decisions smart and your energy bills low has never been more paramount. The first step to take, if you’re approaching the end of your current supplier contract, is to evaluate your options and switch providers if you need to. A few hours of researching could result in you saving hundreds of pounds each year by switching.
Once you’ve sussed out your new supplier, it’s time to analyse your everyday gas use and evaluate whether you need to make some simple changes - for both your bank balance and the planet. You can chisel down your bills by making small changes to your routine. Ask yourself, is the way you're using energy, and paying for it, truly reflective of your needs? More often than not, we’re all guilty of excessively pouring energy into areas of outlets that simply aren’t necessary. According to the Energy Saving Trust Link opens in a new window spending one minute less in the shower each day will cut your energy bill by up to £4 a year for each person living in your home. Also, you can save roughly £35 a year Link opens in a new window by turning your electrical appliances such as your TVs and PlayStations off at the plug rather than leaving them in standby mode. Taking simple steps such as these are sure to save some of your monthly spend.
More than half of our gas utility bills pay for our heating and hot water - so installing a room thermostat is a must when it comes to regulating energy use. Thermostatic radiator valves and a programmer will allow you to control your heating efficiently, all whilst helping you significantly save on money and emissions. The right controls will give you the power to set a timer for your heating and hot water to go on and off according to your schedule, set an exact temperature for different areas of your home, and select specific areas of the home to heat up, only when needed. Sounds handy, right?
It’s also worth noting that, unless your home is state-of-the-art, you will likely be losing heat and energy due to draughts and poor insulation. Investing a little money in draught-proofing the crack in your floors and skirting boards now can save you an awful lot of money and energy in the long run. It’s a no-brainer.
Save money on your mobile
Anyone who’s anyone has a mobile phone - slaves to the smartphone, many of us scarcely go a day without scrolling. From O2 to Vodafone, there are many mobile phone networks to choose from, and some of them are more likely to overcharge than others. When you’re coming to the end of your contract, it pays to look into, and understand, whether you could save money by switching to a contract more in line with your call and data usage pattern. Try searching on a comparison website such as Mobiles.co.uk Link opens in a new window, financial influencer Kia Commodore says "because of this amazing website I’ve not paid full price on a contract for 5 years."
However, if you aren’t bothered about having the latest phone and don’t care much for fancy apps, then why not switch to a SIM-only deal? If you’re content with the phone you have and are happy to pass up on a new contract, then a SIM-only phone can act as a real money saver. You’ll still get data, minutes and texts, but for a lot less cash, as you won’t be coughing up for the cost of a snazzy phone. Scope out for some decent deals and pay just a fraction of the price of a pay monthly package - simples!
Be clever with your car
It’s safe to say that the recent months have been studded with a bit of car-related carnage surrounding the short supply of fuel. From panic buying to the continuously rising cost of fuel, this month has really taught us that it pays to plan ahead before heading to the petrol station. By taking charge of your finances and using a fuel-saving service, such as Petrolprices.com Link opens in a new window, you’ll be able to find the cheapest fuel available to you. With the Money Advice Service estimating that saving just 5p a litre on the price of petrol or diesel could save the average driver £100 a year, it’s certainly something worth exploring.
Even changing the way you drive can help you make your fuel go further, all whilst reducing carbon emissions, too. By accelerating gently, avoiding unnecessary breaks and changing up to the correct gear earlier, you’ll be able to make your fuel go further than if you continued to recklessly drive. Trust us, saving money and the planet is cooler than revving your engine.
So, there you have it - our top tips on how to save on your utility bills. Find out more expert tips on how to get into good financial habits.