25 May 2023

Household energy bills set to fall from July: 7 ways to help keep bills as low as possible

25 May 2023

Average household energy bills will fall by £426 a year from July, after Ofgem drops its price cap.

The regulator revealed plans to cut its price cap from £3,280 to £2,074 from July 1, following tumbling wholesale prices – the first time consumers on default tariffs will have seen prices fall since the global gas crisis started more than 18 months ago (the cap reached £4,279 at its peak).

However, the regular said: “Whilst today’s level is lower than last quarter, it is still above the levels it was before the energy crisis took hold, meaning many households could still struggle to pay bills.”

Indeed – as promising as this sounds, many households are still feeling the pinch. And as the old adage goes, every little bit helps when it comes to shaving money off of household bills and living costs.

Keen to keep your energy and bills – and usage – as low as possible? Here are some tips…

1. Switch off

Now the days are longer again, try to make the most of natural daylight and ensure lights are kept off when not absolutely needed. And when you do need artificial light, think about installing LED bulbs – cheaper to run than traditional lights – and how the glow of a candle creates a wonderful ambience.

2. Use cooler settings for laundry

Rethink your laundry cycle and turn the dial to a cold water wash. An estimated 75-90% of the electricity used per wash goes on heating the water, so think how much of a saving you could make by turning that dial down. Many detergents are designed to work well in a cool wash these days.

3. Hang washing outside

If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, balcony or terrace, think about hanging the washing on a line outside, especially now the weather has warmed up. Your clothing will not only dry in the lovely fresh open air but smell so much nicer than pulling it from a tumble dryer.

4. Take a tepid shower or bath

While we all love the feeling of being clean, opting for cooler bathing water now summer is here could be beneficial on numerous levels. According to dermatologists, if you have sensitive skin, too-hot water can trigger flare-ups and strip skin of sebum and oils, leaving it dry and dehydrated – and the energy savings of turning down the heat will add up.

5. Only boil the kettle with the water you need

It’s a no-brainer, but why, oh why fill the kettle to the brim for one cup of tea or coffee? Boil the amount you actually need – you’ll have your brew quicker, and trim down your energy use.

6. Make the most of salad days and rest the oven

With sunshine and settled conditions on the cards, think a Mediterranean diet and switching out Sunday roasts for all your favourite salad recipes. Raw veggies and dips, tins of tuna, chilled gazpacho soups, cheese boards and French crusty bread… Delicious, none of the faff of baking trays and prepping, and less need for fuel-guzzling cooking.

7. Draught-proof windows and doors

It’s always a good idea to think about draught-proofing your windows with self-adhesive strips. – especially if you’ve just finished a spring clean and they’re looking their sparkling best with the sun streaming through – a cheap and effective way to save money on your energy bill.

If it feels draughty in your home, keep internal doors closed between rooms you’re not using, seal gaps at the bottom of doors with draught excluders – you can even make one with an old pillowcase stuffed with tired woolly jumpers – or foam weather strips. This will set you up for any chilly spells to come.

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