This guide will help you lower your gas and electricity bills. It shows you ways to cut your energy use, and ways to pay less for the energy you do use.
How can I use less energy?
Do a home energy check
Home improvements such as better insulation can reduce your energy bills.
To see what a difference they can make, start with a home energy check. For details, visit: hec.est.org.uk.
Look into grants and benefits to help you save on home heat and insulation
Also try the Energy Savings Advice Service and Home Energy Scotland. These national helplines can advise on benefits, grants for home insulation, reduced tariffs and special payment options. Or try the government's energy grants calculator.
- Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234 (for England and Wales)
- Home Energy Scotland on 0808 808 2282 (for Scotland)
- Energy grants calculator - GOV.UK
Look into government energy efficiency schemes
Then look into government initiatives that may be able to help pay for home improvements:
- In England, Wales and Scotland, the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) and the Green Deal.
- In Wales, Nest.
- In Scotland, the Home Energy Efficiency Programme Scotland (HEEPS).
- Telephone 0300 123 1234, for England and Wales, and 0808 8082282, for Scotland.
How to avoid wasting energy
- Use a timer on your central heating system. Set the heating and hot water to come on only when required.
- If you have a hot water tank, set the cylinder thermostat to 60oC (140oF).
- Close your curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping through the windows. Check for draughts, too.
- Always turn off the light when you leave a room.
- Use energy-saving light bulbs.
- Don’t leave appliances on standby or laptops and mobile phones on charge unnecessarily.
- When washing up, washing or drying by machine, try to fully load the appliance. One full load uses less energy than two half loads.
- Try to only boil the water you need.
- Turn taps off properly – in a single week, a dripping hot tap can waste enough hot water to fill half a bath.
- Dry your clothes outside during nice weather
How to pay less for the gas and electricity you use
Make sure you’re on the best tariff
Talk to your supplier or look at their website to see what tariffs they have available. Your bill must include personalised information about your supplier’s cheapest tariff and how much you could save. The bill will also give you estimated costs for the next year.
Use a price comparison website to see if another supplier can make you a better offer.
- For more information on energy price comparison services, see Compare gas and electricity tariffs: Ofgem-accredited comparison sites.
- See also How to switch energy supplier and shop for a better deal.
Check if you’re eligible for a rebate or discount
Warm Home Discount
Some energy suppliers offer rebates and assistance to people who are of pensionable age, are disabled, have severe health problems or are on a low income.
- Call your supplier to see if you qualify, or for more information contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline.
Winter Fuel Payment
You could get between £100 and £300 to help pay your heating bills if you were born on or before 5 January 1952. This is the Winter Fuel Payment. You usually get a Winter Fuel Payment automatically if you get the State Pension or another social security benefit (not Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction or Child Benefit). If you qualify but don’t get paid automatically, you’ll need to make a claim.
- Check whether you qualify by calling the Winter Fuel Payment helpline on 08459 151515.
Payment method discounts
You could save money on your bills by opting to switch from prepayment, cash or cheque payment methods to a monthly or quarterly direct debit. Most suppliers offer a discount if you opt to pay by direct debit, and it can help you avoid missing payments.
- See our guide Direct Debits: What you need to know
Get help with lowering your gas and electricity bills
If you need advice about your energy bills, visit your local Citizens Advice Bureau. You can also contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline:
- Visit the Citizens Advice website
- contact them on 03454 04 05 06 (English language) or 03454 04 05 05 (Welsh language).
- For textphone, dial 18001 followed by the helpline number.