With winter fast approaching, energy costs are likely to become a much bigger proportion of our outgoings in the months ahead.
While the cost of energy may have stabilised somewhat in recent months, it is estimated that the average annual dual-fuel bill still stands at 1,264 which, at a time when wage rises are only just beginning to exceed inflation, has put considerable pressure on household budgets.
With that in mind, here are four easy steps that, when combined, could save you up to 300 per year on your energy bill!
With many of us now owning smartphones and the internet of things being a high-growth area, it was only a matter of time before a mainstream app came along that could cut energy use. Indeed, Hive (from British Gas) is an app that claims to reduce energy consumption to such an extent that you could save up to 150 per year. And, with the device and app costing 150 altogether, the payback period could be as little as one year.
Hive works by allowing you to control the heating and hot water settings in your home via your smartphone. As such, you are able to override preset programmes remotely and turn the heating down when you are not home, which could prove useful for unexpected errands or if you forget to alter the thermostat before leaving. And, with savings of 150 per year being on offer, it could prove to be well worth the upfront payment.
Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs
With lighting accounting for 7% of the average households annual energy bill, switching to energy-efficient light bulbs could prove to be a worthwhile move. Indeed, each bulb is estimated to save around 3 per annum in electricity costs. For a three-bedroom, one-bathroom semi-detached house, this could equate to as much as 24 per annum. Furthermore, if you use LED light bulbs to replace halogen light bulbs, you could save up to 40 per year due to their even greater efficiency.
As well as being less time-consuming once set up, paying by direct debit can help to cut your energy bills. Thats because most suppliers offer discounts for paying by direct debit. For example, EDF is currently offering a 6% discount for customers who pay via this method, which works out at an annual saving of 75.84 from the average dual-fuel bill in the UK of 1,264 per year.
A fourth way to cut your energy bill is to take advantage of new customer offers available at energy companies. For example, British Gas is offering a 50 gift card to spend at various high-street retailers simply for switching to a fixed rate tariff. Many of these offers (such as the one at British Gas) are available to new and existing customers, which is clearly positive news.
So, with the Hive app offering savings of 150 per year, switching to energy efficient light bulbs saving 24 per year, paying by direct debt saving up to 75.84 per year, and a 50 gift voucher all adding up to just under 300 of savings, this winter could be a less expensive one than you may have first thought.
Of course, saving money is hugely worthwhile and a step-by-step approach (such as the one above) can really add up to major savings. The same could be true of investing, with a simple, straightforward plan potentially leading to impressive returns over the medium to long term.
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