How to reduce your energy bills in winter

It's no surprise that our energy bills go up in winter, it's colder, it's darker so we're obviously using more gas and electricity. There is a way to get cheaper energy bills whilst still keeping your home cosy though, it's just about being smart with the energy you're using. So here's how you can get help with your energy bills this winter.

How to cut the cost of your energy bills in winter

Timings

If your central heating is on for 4 hours in the evening it's obviously going to cost more than if it's on for 2 hours. Now there's no need to sit shivering in your house and of course there'll be days when it's so cold you have to put the heating on or it clicks on automatically (more on that soon) but thinking about your timings for your automatic central heating settings could make a big difference to your bills.

 Lets make things a little clearer, our central heating is set to automatically come on in a morning and an evening. In a morning on weekdays it's on for just over an hour which is just enough time for the house to be warm whilst we're getting ready for work. It goes off at 8.30am when I head out to work. In an evening it's set to come on at 6pm as although my partner works from home and I'm usually home by 4pm we obviously can't have the heating on all day to accommodate my partner! We've gone for this time as usually we have other things to do before then which may mean we're busy or popping out then of course we have a bath or shower which warms you up. The heating on a evening is on for 2.5 hours which for our small house is perfect.

It's all about getting your timings right. You don't want to waste too much energy when you're not in the house and by taking into consideration things like when you leave for work or alternative ways of keeping warm you should be able to figure out a good schedule for heating your home. Obviously don't beat yourself up if you need to have the heating on more sometimes but this regular routine should reduce your energy bills.

Cosy alternatives

Instead of cranking the number on your thermostat right up whilst walking around the house in a t-shirt and bare feet. Think about alternative ways of keeping warm that doesn't involve increasing the temperature on the thermostat. Putting a jumper and some socks on would be a good start!

In all seriousness though, there are so many cheap alternatives for keeping cosy that will allow you to have your thermostat on a reasonable number. Blankets and throws are a great way to wrap up and are super cheap. We have a big Primark throw folded away at the back of our sofa ready to pull out on winter nights. Their extra large throws are pretty cheap and you can usually find a few in the sale too! Brushed cotton bedding is also super warm and again can be picked up for relatively cheap at Asda and Primark.

I highly recommend a good pair of slippers if you have wooden or tiled flooring too. I have a pair of Ugg slippers that I only wear for walking around the house in as it stops me feeling the cold on our wooden and tiled floors!

If you're looking to get all areas of your finances on track, not just your energy bills then you really need to read how to have a great financial year in 2020.

Get the thermostat right

Did you know that turning down your thermostat by just one degree could give you cheaper energy bills? One degree is not noticeable at all. Trust me, we did it all the way back in 2018 when money was a bit tight and we haven't felt the need to turn it back up since even though we could if we wanted to. We haven't noticed a difference in temperature but it helps with your energy bills so it makes sense to do it.

Also don't fall into the trap of thinking you don't need the automatic setting on your thermostat, you should absolutely be setting up your central heating to come on automatically a couple of times each day as heating your home from a colder temperature will use more energy. You can also set a temperature on your thermostat where if it drops to that set temperature in your home the heating will automatically come on. Don't set this to a really low number thinking you'll be saving money by bypassing the heating automatically coming on as again you'll be using more energy to try and heat your home up to the temperature you have set on your thermostat. The harder your boiler has to work to heat your home, the more money you'll end up spending. 

Turn out the lights

It's common sense really that if you've got lights on in rooms you're not using, you are quite literally wasting money. Make sure to turn lights off when you leave a room and switch all your bulbs to LED bulbs to save even more money. 

Switch energy providers

If you're a fan of my money saving posts then you'll already know that I'm a massive advocate for switching providers for absolutely everything that you possibly can! People get stuck in a rut because it's easy to let the same provider sort everything out. One afternoon spent researching cheaper energy tariffs can really help you save on energy bills though. It's not as complicated as you think and it's something you really should make a priority if you haven't switched energy providers in a while. Comparison sites make it super easy to compare energy bills and find you a knew provider in no time. Just be aware that most energy companies tie you into a tariff for a set number of months and leaving before that time will incur a charge. On a related note companies like Bulb don't tie you into a contract and they're one of the cheapest energy companies around. If you use my sign up link you'll get £50 from Bulb! Use my bulb sign up link here.

Seal your windows

After you've took all the steps to ensure your energy bills are cheaper whilst still maintaining a cosy home the last thing you want is all the heat escaping through your windows if they aren't sealed properly. Especially if like us you have a few radiators in your home that are placed under windows. Our windows seals were shocking when we first moved in and to be honest the windows need rehanging/replacing but that's an expensive job that's just not on the radar at the moment. A super easy way to seal your windows and exclude drafts is with foam insulation strip seal which costs just a couple of pounds for about 5 metres. 

Hopefully you found these tips useful. They're all really easy things you can do to help with your energy bills and get cheaper energy bills in winter. If you want to know how to save money every single day then you definitely need to check out my post - how to save money every day - which tells you exactly how to do that!

If you have any tips on reducing your energy bills in winter, leave them in the comments.

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