Saving on your bills over winter

by Ed Firmin

Posted on Thursday, December 17th, 2015 at 10:00

There’s no doubt about it, you’re going to be using more gas and electricity over the winter months as it gets darker and colder, but what is going to happen to your bills over winter?

You may well be paying a set amount for gas and electricity each month, but that doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole usage; utility companies may have to adjust the amount you pay to take into consideration additional power used, but that might not kick in for a few months. And some might not even take into account any shortfall until the end of the year, and so you might end up with a bill running into the hundreds.

So, it’s wise to think about how you can save money on your bills over the winter, here are some tips to do just that:

  • Don’t study at home. Use the facilities at university, after all that’s what you’re paying your tuition fees for! The library is more of a conducive environment for studying anyway, so you might find that you get your work done in a fraction of the time, compared to being at home
  • Take regular readings and submit them to your utility company. That way, you won’t have to wait for three or six months if they need to adjust any fixed payment you are currently paying. You never know, you might even be paying too much, so if you are due a refund, then it’s better in your pockets!
  • Put more layers on. Don’t be tempted to crank up the heating. Just turning up the thermostat can add a huge whack to your bill, so keep it at the lowest possible, and add an extra jumper instead.
  • Use energy-saving light bulbs. They may cost more to buy, but they will pay for themselves in the savings you make on your bills
  • Be clever with your washing. Team up with flatmates to ensure you’ve got a full load, you’re just wasting water and electricity running two half-loads. Also turn the temperature down, you don’t need to crucify all your clothes at 60 degrees, 30 will do just fine. Invest in good washing powder and stain remover instead
  • Don’t block the radiators, remove any furniture from in front of them, as this will stop the room from heating up, and if you’re using the oven, keep the door open after you’ve finished cooking, the heat will help to warm the house
  • Turn lights off when you’re not using them, and try not to keep things on standby, as this will still use electricity

Being clever with your bills could save you a significant amount, and remember, there is a use for that knitted Christmas jumper you were given from your aunt, it’s perfect for wearing around the house to keep warm!

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