Winter is here - which means many of us will be cranking up the thermostat as temperatures start to plummet.
But with energy bills still eye-wateringly high, some households may be worried about putting the heating on – let alone turning it up – for fear of not being able to afford the cost.
But here's the good news: there are some simple steps you can take to reduce your gas bills
One of the most obvious is by cutting consumption, but you can also make savings by checking you’re on the best tariff for your usage – and claiming any help you're entitled to.
Turn your thermostat down to cut gas bills
No-one wants to freeze at home, but turning your room thermostat down by just 1ºC could cut your bill by 10 per cent a year.
If you have an adjustable thermostat for your hot water, set it no higher than 60 ºC, as any higher is a waste of energy.
Turn radiators down to cut gas bills
If there are radiators pumping out heat in rooms you’re not using, turn these down – or off altogether. After all, there’s no point pay for a warm space if no-one is taking advantage of it.
Also look into installing thermostatic radiator valves, as these will enable you to manage the heat separately in each room of the house. And keep windows and doors closed if the heating is turned on.
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If your boiler breaks, get a professional Gas Safe engineer
As your boiler is likely to be working almost continuously over the winter months, there is an increased chance of it breaking down.
If you need it repaired, it’s essential you wait until a Gas Safe registered heating engineer can come out to you, as badly-fitted and poorly-serviced appliances can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Always check your engineer is on the Gas Safe register; visit gassaferegister.co.uk
Improve your insulation to cut gas bills
A good way to improve energy efficiency and reduce your gas bills is by ensuring your home is well insulated.
You could save up to £150 a year by getting the loft insulated, while cavity wall insulation could save you £145.
Other insulation tips include wrapping foil around your water pipes, blocking chimneys, and using draft excluders.
Always close the curtains at night, as this creates an extra layer of insulation between the radiators and the windows.
Find out if you are entitled to help with insulation and other energy-saving measure by speaking to your supplier, or by contacting the Energy Saving Trust (Est.org.uk).
Switch tariffs to cut gas bills
One of the best ways to cut your gas (and electricity) bills is by shopping around on price comparison sites, and moving to a more competitive tariff.
Fixed tariffs are worth considering as they give you certainty about what you pay for your energy, while protecting you against any unexpected price hikes.
Look into managing your gas account and receiving your bill online, as suppliers often offer reductions for this. There may also be discounts up for grabs for taking both gas and electricity together (dual fuel), and for paying via monthly direct debit.
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Claim discounts to cut gas bills
Finally, make sure you claim the support you are entitled to through schemes such as the Warm Home Discount, Cold Weather Payment and Winter Fuel Payment.
For more information on help in cutting your energy bills visit Turn2us.org.uk
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