Coronavirus has forced workers across the UK to work from home. This means that more power will be needed during the day, pushing up electricity and gas bills.
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People will be stressed enough as it is without worrying about large bills they have no control over.
Thankfully, it is possible to take certain steps to reduce energy bills which can have surprisingly large payoffs.
Stephen Murray, an energy spokesperson for MoneySuperMartket recently highlighted that the current state of the energy market makes it a prime time to switch providers.
On top of this however, consumers can make small changes in their home to reduce their bills.
As Stephen explained: “In addition to changing supplier, there are also a range of simple measures that you can take to cut your energy costs over the coming months, such as turning off electrical appliances on standby, replacing your lightbulbs and turning your thermostat down by a degree. “These three measures combined could save you £111 per year.”
He went on to detail the three individual changes that can be done to reach this number:
- “Turn off electrical appliances – leaving them on standby wastes energy and money. You could save around £30 a year by switching them off
- “Turn down the thermostat by a degree – it’s simple but it could reduce your energy bills by £75 each year
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- “Replace your light bulbs – replacing traditional light bulbs with an LED of the same brightness could save you around £6 a year, according to the Energy Saving Trust.”
He also highlights that shopping around for the best deal could save people hundreds of pounds over a year, but shopping itself could be a problem for some people.
Personal budgeting could be a weak spot for people with limited income or who are susceptible to impulse purchases.
Thankfully, the Money Advice Service also list a number of tips for people to make the most of their money when shopping, whether it be for food, utilities or clothing etc.
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These tips can both help people save and ensure they’re protected:
- “Work out what you spend your money on. Make a list of everything you buy in a typical month. This will make it easier to work out where you can cut back.
- “Shop around. Check out the competition and compare prices. For example, it might be cheaper to go to a different supermarket, or buy your electronics from a different website.
- “Use price tracking websites. If you search for the item you’re looking to buy using one of these sites, you’ll be able to see the prices it’s been sold at over the past year. You can also use them to set up email alerts for when prices drop.
- “Beware of special offers. Vouchers, special offers and cashback deals were invented to make you spend more, not less. Never buy something you don’t need just because it’s on offer.
- “Don’t impulse buy. Think carefully before making a purchase – especially if it’s expensive. At the very least sleep on it! It might seem less appealing in the morning.
- “Check reviews. If you’re not sure about a product, check online to see if there are any reviews. Just type its name into a search engine, followed by ‘review’.”
They also advise people to make purchases using debit or credit cards as they offer greater protection than cash.
The government can also provide energy grants for certain claimants which can help with things like loft insulations or boiler upgrades.
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