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Easy tweaks to save money on energy bills

Energy bills can be expensive, especially if you’re on a pre-payment meter. Fortunately there are some easy tricks to help you spend less and get some money back in your pocket.

When you’re on a pre-payment meter, the biggest way to save is to switch, and possibly fix, your energy supplier. However, if you aren’t able to move onto a Direct Debit, join in with our energy tweaking ideas and you could find yourself saving.

Your energy tweak week

Light it up Monday


Buy some energy saving bulbs. They last up to 10 times longer than ordinary bulbs and don’t cost much more. Using one can save you around £55 over the lifetime of the bulb. What a bright idea!

Thermostat Tuesday


Reduce your thermostat by 1°C and you could cut 10% from your heating bill – it usually saves around £55 per year. Kerching. No more eating marshmallows over hobs to keep warm!

Bath-free Wednesday

Fan of a bath? Swap it for a shower. Want to take it even further? uSwitch reveals you could shave £20 from your bills each year by cutting two minutes from your shower time. You don’t have to take your cat in there too though.

Laundry Thursday

If you can, do all the washing on one day to save energy. One full load uses less energy than one half load. Try to avoid using the tumble dryer if you can avoid it, and use drying racks instead for further savings.  So easy a baby could do it.

Fridge fun on a Friday

Defrost your freezer to shave money off your bill, and don’t put hot food straight into the fridge – it will have to work hard to cool it down for you. uSwitch says the cost of running your fridge and freezer accounts for 7% of your bills.  What better fun is there to have on a Friday? None!

Switch it off Saturday

Unplug all the appliances you aren't using regularly. Even chargers continue to use electricity when they aren't charging. Also, don’t be thinking standby is the same as turning your appliances off - £80 a year is wasted in the average home this way according to The Energy Savings Trust.  You don’t need your appliances today anyway – you’re going out after spending your Friday night defrosting your freezer.

Stock up Sunday

Why don’t you cook a few meals to stock up your newly defrosted freezer? uSwitch suggests that if you're going to use the oven, bake a few meals at a time to get the most out of having it turned on.

What do you think?

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  • Barbarann / 26 January 2016

    Tammy, 19th January comment, is it possible that someone else's electricity is being charged to your account? It seems odd that you are unable to make savings by cutting down consumption.

  • marie alcock / 25 January 2016

    marvellous ideas

  • David / 24 January 2016

    Good but one thing that saves the most potentially is making sure you are on the cheapest tariff, Also Fixed prices are usually cheaper than variable and it is easier to budget if you have a fixed tariff

  • Janette / 24 January 2016

    I save money on my electricity bill by switching off the hot water tank for good. It saves me about 6 units per night on economy 7 and at roughly 7p per unit, I've done it for over a year now and its saved me at least £150 off my bill per year. I've been paying roughly £30 per month which was reduced to £19 per month as I qualify for warm home discount which is worth replying quickly to when renewal comes up as its £145 credit added to your account,.

    I boil a kettle and have a strip wash in the bath. Eventually I may get a shower if it proves as cheap as a kettle. I did find that if I put the water heater on full for one night only and then switch it off, the following night getting up an hour before the cheap period finished (06.30am), it would use 1 unit to keep the water hot, but i got fedup of doing it, but will use this method when i want a 'treat' of hot water from the tap rather than from a kettle.

    Before I got new carpet I'd put newspaper around the edges to keep things warm and buy cheap window insulation (£1.50 per pack) and sellotape any bad draughts removing it all when the warmer weather arrived.

    I have storage heating and have cheap economy 7 that keep my rooms warm. throughout the day, heating up at night. I have one room heated at half the rate of the other and open them both up during the day so that the heat mingles and levels out. I do this for my cats, before that, I would only heat up one room, the one I'd use the most.

    I turn off my appliances (mobile, computer etc) at the wall if not using them. I place 1 or 2 fans in my kitchen which i run 24/7 and this keeps the fridge and freezer cool during summer but also dries my clothes better than anything else if I put a concertina dryer in there. Cold air is effective at drying and much cheaper than using heat.

    I also fold my laundry items flat after taking them out of the washing machine and leave them overnight and hardly ever iron because of this method. I use a slow cooker and a steamer for cooking food alongside a couple of rings and occasionally use the oven. I have a storage heater wall plug that lights up when the economy 7 comes on, and from this I know my cheap electricity times - so I put my washing machine and dishwasher on at 10.30pm or 6am, so as not to disturb the neighbours. Only just found out how to put the timer on them both... durrr. All those years!!! I then only pay 7p per 1 unit to use them each time rather than 25p (roughly) for 1 peak time unit.

  • andrew muschett / 24 January 2016

    buy audiophile fuses they have lower resistance and don't have just use them on your hi fi or tv they will work perfectly well in every appliances

  • Sarah jamieson / 24 January 2016

    I'm on a pre pay meter I find it very expensive please help

  • JW / 24 January 2016

    R Gee Thanks for clarifying that - much appreciated.

  • R Gee / 24 January 2016

    JW regarding your question about unplugging appliances - electricity is not used if the wall switch is 'off' - that would be impossible. However, many people leave devices on 'standby' or leave their chargers plugged into the socket (with the switch 'on') thinking that if they don't plug in the phone / computer or whatever then they are not using electricity. The 'charger' is a power supply unit and even with no phone / computer etc connected the charger will use some power (it is small, but in a large house with lots of items left this way it adds up).
    So, yes, turn off the switch to save energy.

  • JW / 24 January 2016

    Re the advice to unplug all appliances you aren't using regularly - does this mean electricity is still being used by the appliance when plugged in even if it switched off at the wall?

  • Len Macey / 24 January 2016

    the most important tip is to check on your gas & electric supplier. I was with British Gas
    and have changed, now saving AT LEAST 15%!!

  • HJ / 24 January 2016

    My tips. Get your house insulated.
    Wear warm clothes.
    Only iron items that really need it.
    Iron really quickly. Less energy used and good warming exercise.
    Never use a tumble dryer.
    Have quick showers.
    My neighbour and I compared our water bills as she was worried hers were wrong. Her monthly water meter bill was three times the price of mine. The only difference was that she has a full bath every day, I have a quick shower!

  • Ana Irena / 24 January 2016

    Mr. Sturge, I watched a documentrary about energy savings bulbs and in it it said that these bulbs may be dangerous for our health if they break and we breath its gas because the gas they have inside is toxic. No dangerous if they don't break.

  • Eirwen Roberts / 24 January 2016

    Ver useful, but your information could be conveyed in a more comprehensible way i.e. one step at a time. I feel you are trying to be too concise i.e pack too much info into one sentence , ehich can make things difficult ro understand

  • Thomas Sturge / 24 January 2016

    Energy saving light bulbs (as well as LED ones) are carcinogenic, so I've stopped using them and I now use the old style effervescent ones. I also use beeswax or 100% stearin candles too - all other candles give off toxic fumes.
    It's not a good idea to promote the use of something which causes illness.
    I can send you further info and links on these things if you like.

  • Tony G / 24 January 2016

    Some good old ideas here, which don't cost money. Next time please put in a link to the Energy Saving Trust, who describe draughtproofing, insulation and household renewable energy.

    But you say: “One full load uses less energy than one half load. “
    I think you mean “One full load uses less energy than two half loads”.

  • patricia pillings / 24 January 2016

    Use slow cooker, crock pot, halogen cooker - appliances that run on the equivalent of a light bulb to cook complete meals, instead of the traditional oven.

  • Tammy / 19 January 2016

    These tips are all rubbish I have been trying these out for over two years now and my bills are getting higher and higher. I was told today that my usage has gone up one hundred pounds per month making them a total of 255 per month. I haven't used my tumble dryer for 3 months and I turned my heating off to 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours a night. I have spent thousands of pounds changing all my appliances to energy rating A or A++ these tips ate rubbish or the energy companies are laughing out loud.

  • judith gardiner / 19 January 2016

    All these tips are good but they are nothing new, every site and news paper says the same thing. one of the best tips is do not over fill your kettle, only use what you need because the kettle uses a lot of electricity, alternatively use the gas stove. changing light bulbs means you have to spend money to save money. apart from living like a hermit what else can we do to save money.

  • lynn wilson / 16 January 2016

    I understand all your views above. I switch off lights in rooms that are not in use, use the tumble dryer when needed, wherever I can cut down I do. I only put the heating on for about 3 hours a day to keep the cost down. I had a discussion on christmas eve with the energy supplier that I had about my direct debit as they want to put it up £17.50 a month, which I can't do, it took three phone calls and 4 people to say I could keep it at the same price i was already paying,, explained I only put the heating on between 2 to 4 hours a day.

  • debi / 14 January 2016