COST OF LIVING CRISIS: Here are five ways to save money on your gas and electricity as energy price cap predicted to rise to £3,553 a year from October
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Bills regulator Ofgem will announce the new rate on Friday, which will be set in place from October 1 to December 31.
Analysts Cornwall Insight expect prices to soar by £1,582, increasing by 80% to £3,553 a year. This is the largest jump to date.
Here are five ways to help you save money on your gas and electricity, according to Citizens Advice:
Apply for benefits and grants to help you pay your bills.
You might be eligible for them if you:
- have reached state pension age - check this on www.gov.uk;
- have a disability;
- have no income or a low income;
- have missed payments to your energy supplier.
Check your heaters and meters are set up right.
Immersion heaters use electricity to heat water and costs around 50p an hour to use. You can run it for just a couple of hours - or less if you have an electric shower – to provide enough hot water for the whole day. If you pay less money for electricity at night, set the timer on your immersion heater so it only heats water at night. Check if your water tank has an insulating jacket at least 80mm thick and your hot water pipes have foam insulation or “lagging”. To find out more about adding insulating jackets and foam insulation, visit the Centre for Sustainable Energy website.
Check if you can use less electricity and gas.
- dry clothes outside or by an open window instead of using a tumble dryer;
- wash a full load of clothing in your washing machine at 30 degrees;
- use LED or other energy-efficient light bulbs;
- turn off plug sockets at the wall if you’re not using them;
- close your curtains in the evening to keep in heat when it’s cold;
- set your fridge between three and five degrees and defrost your freezer regularly.
Get a smart meter or energy monitor
This can help you understand what you’re spending on gas or electricity. Most people can get a smart meter for free. Find out about energy monitors on the Centre for Sustainable Energy website. You might also be able to borrow an energy meter from the council or library - visit www.gov.uk to check if this is possible.
Make your home more energy efficient.
You can do this by making some home improvements like adding insulation or switching from gas heating to a heat pump, or by changing the way you use your appliances. For example, using timers and thermostats on your central heating system means you’ll only heat your house when necessary. On average, you’ll save around £70 each year.