1. Fix your deal to save £300

All of the big energy companies are announcing price rises. Battle the hikes by grabbing a cheaper tariff.

There is a £300-a-year difference between the best and worst tariffs, according to the price comparison website uSwitch.

Make sure you sign up to a fixed deal and research to find the best tarrif !



2. Stop paying by cash and cheque

You can make serious savings just by changing the way you pay your bills. Most energy companies reserve their best deals for online customers. So if you have access to a computer, use it.

Energy providers will also give you a better deal if you sign up to gas and electricity — a so-called dual fuel tariff.

You can also get a hefty discount — often as much as £100 a year on the average bill — if you pay by monthly direct debit.

Paying by cash or cheque is expensive. Only use this method of payment if you have to.

If you have access to the internet, you can also cut costs by viewing bills online, rather than receiving paper bills in the post.


3. Threaten to switch ! Call up your orovider and quote a better deal and chances are they will match it rather than lose your custom !


4. Put on a cardigan

Most families have the heating on at 20 degrees centigrade all day, and wander about the house in a blouse or T-shirt.

Turn down the thermostat just one degree, to 19 degrees, and put on a jumper or cardigan and you can shave 10 pc off your heating bill.

This is a £60 a year saving for the typical household.

You’ll hardly notice the difference if your house is well insulated.

If your hot water is piping hot, it’s probably too high. Set the thermostat to no more than 60c/140f.

Make sure the central heating and hot water are off when you’re out for the day — whether that’s at work, school or visiting relatives. Use the timer sparingly so it comes on only when necessary.

Turn off the radiators in rooms you’re not using and keep windows and doors closed if the heating is turned on.


5. Close the curtains

Don’t let heat slip through the cracks. Draw the curtains or blinds at night and use draught-blockers for doors.

Turn down the heat on your washing machine: use the 30 degrees setting or the quick wash function if your machine has one.

Use tumble-driers sparingly.

Don’t waste hot water — the more you use, the more you have to heat.

A dripping tap wastes enough hot water to fill 69 baths a year. Tighten it with a spanner or ask a friend or plumber.

Running a bath uses up to 100 litres of water. Showering instead uses much less — rarely more than 35 litres — and saves £18 a year.

In the kitchen, only boil as much water as you need (as long as it covers the element in the kettle).

A good idea is to measure out how many cups of tea you want to make. This can save £7 a year on its own.

Put a lid on saucepans if you’re boiling vegetables or rice and turn down the heat on the hob.