How to Save Money on your Heating Bills
Last year the winter of 2017-18 saw temperatures plummet to incredibly low numbers in the UK, with some places experiencing Siberian levels of around -15°C. Surprisingly, it wasn’t the coldest UK winter on record , though it wasn’t too far away. With such unprecedented temperatures the average heating bills in UK homes shot up, with heating systems on for longer and at higher levels.
Should the same happen this winter, then a lot of people will be in for a financial shock when their heating bill rockets once again. To counter this, we’ve compiled a guide detailing how to save money on heating bills in your household this winter.
The Average Heating Bills in the UK
It can be difficult to work out the average heating bills UK homeowners pay for a few reasons. Firstly, it will depend on the energy provider used. Secondly, the time of year will affect how much heating is used, so the average cost in June will be a lot lower than in December for example. Finally, you don’t pay a heating bill, you pay gas and/or electric bills of which heating represents a proportion of this, which can be hard to work out exactly.
According to energy market regulator Ofgem, the average gas and electricity bill per month was £94.83 in April 2018, equivalent to £1,138 per year. While heating is generally the biggest factor in energy bills, it doesn’t account for all of it. Still, if your heating bill is 80% of the total energy fee then that’s £75.86 per month or £910.37 per year for the average heating bills UK homeowners and renters can expect to pay.
Big Improvements to Lower Your Heating Bill
Anyone wanting to understand how to save money on heating bills should start with the big appliances pivotal to heating your home. This is the boiler, which it is advisable you have serviced before winter arrives, especially if it hasn’t within the last five years. Boilers generally last between ten and fifteen years but if they aren’t working at their most efficient then a lot of energy and money will be wasted. Boiler loans can be one option for covering the costs of such work and if you need a new one installing.
Another big task to reduce your heating bill is to bleed all your radiators. This will clear out any dirt and get them working in a more efficient manner. Alternatively, installing underflooring heating is an option for more cost-effective warm rooms. The upfront cost will be more but it should use less energy and save on bills in the future, eventually repaying its installation costs.
Switching Energy Providers
Energy shopping is important to reduce your heating bill costs. According to government figures, between January and August 2018 around 2.9 million gas customers and 3.5 million electricity customers switched their suppliers.
It can be one of the quickest and simplest ways to save money on heating bills. All you need to do is use one of the many online comparison sites, see if you can get a cheaper electricity and gas rate with another supplier, and switch. While the average monthly heating bill was found to be just over £75 according to Ofgem, they also found the lowest at the time to be just £65 a month, so there are plenty of people who could swap energy providers.
Small Things You Can Do
There are many little actions you can take to further save money on your heating bill. These include:
- Draught proof gaps around your doors, windows, loft hatches and electrical fittings on the walls with foam and sealant.
- Turn off all appliances which you leave on standby, including your TV, games console, laptop, speakers, DVD player, TV box and more.
- Lower the temperature on your washing machine and dishwasher. Turn down to 30°C for clothes and whatever the lowest setting for cutlery and plates is with your dishwasher.
- Switch to energy-efficient lighting, such as LED bulbs, and make sure they are only turned on when someone is using the room.
- Add a rug or two when you have wood flooring. This will make it warmer and more comfortable on your feet, while providing a small layer of extra insulation.
- Drop your thermostat by a degree or two and wear an extra layer of clothing. When you’re at home nobody will care that you’ve got two jumpers on.
Most of these small fixes will be free or cheap to make, while home improvement loans can help out for bigger, long term projects such as replacing your boiler and having insulation fitted.
With a greater understanding of how to save money on heating bills, you’ll hopefully have extra finances available for buying more Christmas presents this year.
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