Millions of households across Wales and the rest of the UK will be faced with a huge increase to their energy bill from April after Ofgem announced its new energy price cap.
The energy price cap increase will see the average gas and electricity bill in the UK increase by £693 a year.
According to the Resolution Foundation, the number of households suffering from ‘fuel stress,’ spending at least 10% of their household budget on energy bills will treble overnight to 6.3 million households across the UK when the new energy price cap comes into effect on April 1.
We’ve compiled a list of energy-saving tips to help you manage your energy bills and keep your home warm and safe.
Making your home warmer:
- Clear furniture from in front of your radiators so heat can circulate easily
- Close curtains and doors during cold weather to keep the heat in
- Reduce draughts: By using shop-bought or homemade draught excluders you can reduce the draughts around windows, doors, cat/dog flaps, loft doors
- Avoid drying clothes directly on the radiator: This can make them work harder to provide the same level of heating, use a clothes airer instead
- Bleed radiators: This removes air pockets to make them run more efficiently
- Have your boiler serviced every year to keep it in tip-top condition
- Regularly check the boiler’s pressure is in the green band between 1 and 2
- Turn your thermostats down by 1 degree, or more: Most people find between 18⁰C and 21⁰C comfortable
- Use the timer for your heating so you’re only heating your home when you need to.
Saving Money on your energy bills:
- Install a smart meter (free from your energy supplier): A smart meter will send meter readings to your supplier so your bills are accurate, and the in-home display will show you exactly how much energy you’re using
- If you don’t have a smart meter, provide regular meter readings to your supplier: This will help avoid estimated bills that can be inaccurate
- If you have an Economy 7 meter, your electricity is cheaper to use at night. Use the timer programme on appliances if they have them, or use plug-in timers.
- Switch off or unplug any appliances when not in use: If they have a stand-by light, a display, or are hot to the touch they’ll be using energy just by being plugged in.
- Wash full loads of laundry when possible: Try 30-degree washes instead of 40 degree
- Only fill the kettle with the amount of water you need. The average UK household puts the kettle on 1,500 times a year
- Fridges and freezers use around 20% of electricity: defrost them regularly, keep the coils (at the back) clean, don’t leave the door open for long as this causes ice build-up, and let food cool before putting it in the fridge or freezer
- Keeping appliances clean and well maintained helps them be efficient: empty vacuum cleaners, de-scale kettles, washing machines and dishwashers, empty lint drawers on tumble dryers, repair seals on your fridge if they break
If you would like extra support with your energy bills and would like more tailored advice, our community workers are here to help with a range of help and support including:
- Help for eligible households to apply for winter fuel support schemes
- Access to a benefits check scheme and support to apply for benefits
- Energy advice, water tariff advice and home safety advice
- Support for eligible households to access the Nest boiler replacement scheme
Contact [email protected] for further information or to refer yourself or someone you know.