Understanding your utilities

Utilities


Gas and electricity bills are just a part of life for most of us. We all need a nice hot shower, some toast and a strong brew in the morning – all of which use gas and/or electricity. But are you getting the best deal?

Saving you money

Regularly comparing energy providers and tariffs is one easy way that you can save money. You can start by speaking to your current supplier to check if you are on the cheapest tariff they offer, but it is always a good idea to compare what else is on the market.

Once you know you are on the best tariff, you can make changes around the home.

This can include turning off appliances and not leaving them on standby which can save you around £30 a year. If you have more gadgets, it could be a saving of up to £80!

You can also save up to £80 a year by turning your heating down by just one degree and washing your clothes at 30 degrees could save you up to £52 a year.

Wasting warm water adds to your bills because you pay twice – once for the water and once to heat it. You can save around £25 a year by using a washing up bowl instead of leaving the tap running. Your water provider can also provide you with water-saving freebies to help you cut down on your bills. Contact them to find out what they have on offer.

If you have made changes to save energy but are struggling to pay your bill, contact your supplier and see what help they can give you. You should be able to negotiate a payment plan if your bills are becoming too much for your budget.

For further help and guidance, contact our Money Advice team.

Smart meters

Having a smart meter installed won’t automatically save you money, but it can be a useful budgeting tool and they are usually cheaper than pre-payment meters.

A smart meter gives you information on your usage on the display screen in real time and sends daily or monthly meter readings to your supplier meaning that you will no longer receive estimated bills.

Your energy supplier will usually contact you to tell you when you can get a smart meter but if you want one earlier than planned, you can contact them.

For more information on smart meters and getting one installed, download this flyer or visit the Citizens Advice website.