Cut your heating bills

cut your heating bills

Heating Bills

Its getting a bit on the chilly side and most people would have switched on their heating by now. Even if its a couple of hours in the morning and evening the bills can add up. Heating and hot water makes up over 60% of the average spend on energy bills across UK homes. We have a few tips to help you cut your heating bills and save some of that hard earned cash. If you aren’t locked into a deal call up your provider and switch to a cheaper tariff. Standard tariffs tend to be expensive and supplier will revert back to this after a deal ends. You could cut your heating bills by hundreds of pounds by making a switch to another provider. Don’t forget to use TopCashback or Quidco to get cashback with an energy supplier or use their comparison tools.

A Smart meter records your energy usage and sends a meter reading directly to your supplier. This is a great tool to see for yourself how you are using your gas and electricity and you only pay for what you use.

Get a new boiler

If you are thinking of replacing your boiler then the good news is that newer models are a lot more energy efficient.

If your boiler is more than 15 years old or are constantly ringing the repair company then getting a new one is probably a good idea. Regular boiler services can also save in the long run and make it last a lot longer.

Newer models are more energy efficient meaning not only will it heat your home for longer and quicker, you will cut your heating bills right down. When your buying your new boiler you should consider the cost of repaying the boiler in savings made as well as the actual price. Every boiler will have a rating AAA to G indicating energy efficiency and G rated ones will need replacing a lot more quickly and use more gas to fire up the heating. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that you could save around £340 a year if you replace a G rated boiler with an A rated product. Space is always a factor to consider and installing a combi product means you won’t need a separate hot water cylinder. They can run on Gas, oil and LPG.

If you live in a flat you might have electric heating but there are still ways to cut your heating bills. Storage heaters are well insulated and can give you control over temperature settings in each room and how heat is stored. Fitting thermostats and controls can make your heating a lot more efficient and let you release heat when you need it.

Cut your heating bills by keeping the heat in

Double glazed windows are designed to let light and heat in but reduce the amount of heat that can escape. Sash windows are very popular but are traditionally very poor at keeping the heat in. However if you have them and don’t want to make the switch to double glazing then there are options. Some companies who will install secondary glazing or offer sash window style double glazing. Thick heavy curtains will also help in stopping the heat escape.

Keeping radiators clear allows air to circulate around the room. Hanging clothes from them or having your furniture in traps the warm air in that area leaving the rest of the room feeling cold. Also block draughts where possible around doorways, skirting boards and windows.

Don’t forget cavity wall, loft and under floor insulation, this can make a huge difference to a home’s energy efficiency. The Big Six energy supplies provide grants or contributions towards installing insulation. Around 90% of homes will qualify for some form of assistance.

Keep warm

Wear a snuggly jumper or fleece indoors. Get out the blankets when you settle down to watch your favourite shows in the evening. Not only will you have a cosy night in but you can turn down the thermostat and save around 10% per degree. Hot water bottles and a warm drink are also good ways to warm up quickly. You could always do a bit of exercise in front of the TV using a games console or fitness DVD. This would be ideal if you want to shed a few pounds for the party season. Whatever you decide to do keep warm and enjoy the festive season.

 

Make savings on your water bills

Make savings on your water bills

Make savings on your water bills

If you are on a water meter this can be costly, especially if you have a family. Unlike other utility providers such as gas, electricity and phone providers you don’t have a choice of providers. However there are still ways you can make savings on your water bills throughout the year. I have recently switched gas and electricity tariffs and hoping to save a bit of cash over the winter. Having turned my attention to my water bills I am spending nearly £1000 per year on this alone. I am on a meter and have used quite a bit over the summer, the garden being the main culprit.

As a result of a quick search I found there are a few products designed to save water.  Save Water Save Money is an organisation offering a large range of water saving equipment and has some great advice. They also offer free products, of which you can choose 2 from selection. Just type your postcode so they can check which supplier you are with. I ordered a free Hippo bag which sits in the cistern tank of the toilet and reduces water consumption each time the toilet is flushed. I also got the tap insert which should result in a saving of around £36 per year. Even if you are not on a water meter water saving choices can reduce your gas and electricity bills.

Watersure scheme

If you have high water usage due to having 3 or more children or have a specific medical condition and on a low income/claim social security benefits you may be entitled to a reduction on your annual bill. Contact your water supplier to ask about the Watersure scheme. To aplpy you will usually have to fill out a claim form but once this has been done the bill should be reduced automatically each year. 

A few useful tips on how to make savings on your water bills:

  • Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth
  • Get a water-efficient shower head as this could save the average family around £65 off gas bills and around £100 off water bills each year
  • Put a water saving device or in your toilet cistern – this reduces the volume of water used in per flush. Contact your water supplier or Save Water Save Money
  • Put a jug or water filter in your fridge – water is to hand and you don’t have to run the water until it cold
  • Make sure you have a full load in your washing machine or dishwasher – this cuts out unnecessary washes in between
  • Use a water butt in the garden to water the plants

To find out how much energy and water you are using visit the Water Energy Calculator.

I hope you have found this post useful and let me know if you have any water saving tips of your own. If you want to give Smart with Cash a shout out please like and share our Facebook page.

Consider switching broadband to save cash

Consider switching broadband to save cash

Consider switching broadband to save cash

BT have recently announced their second price hike within a year, promising improvements to their superfast broadband service and faster line fault resolution.  A whole host of costs such as line rental, line rental plus, calling plans, broadband, call set-up fees and BT Sport will go up in the summer. Unlimited anytime call will go from £7.95 to £8.50 per month and BT Infinity 2 will increase from £30 to £32.50 per month. Even if you are not a BT customer you should consider switching broadband to save cash by getting a better deal. Check with your current provider that you are not locked into a lengthy contract, let them know you have seen a better deal advertised on the TV or on the internet and are thinking of switching. If you are locked into a a deal they may be able to reduce the monthly payments or add something extra to the package, particularly if you have been with them for a couple of years.

Topcashback have a range of cashback deals for switches to BT, Plusnet, Sky, Virgin, SSE and TalkTalk, some offering over £100 for broadband, TV and phone packages.

Compare prices through Topcashback by going to the BroadbandChoice page and collect £31.50 if you use their comparison tool and switch providers. We have provided a breakdown of broadband deals for everyday broadband, all these providers also have fibre and superfast broadband offers with higher cashback rates for full packages.

When comparing providers make sure you are getting the same minimum speed and bandwidth, also look at the price of line rental and call add-ons such as caller ID, blocking nuisance calls, answering service in addition to call charges outside of evening and weekend deals.

Sky Broadband Unlimited are offering 12 months free Broadband, £10 per month thereafter. Line rental is £17.40 but may increase during the contract. If you are a new customer you will receive a £100 M&S voucher.

  • Up to 17MB per second plus unlimited data usage, £6.95 delivery and £20 phone line transfer fee.

Sky Fibre Broadband Unlimited

  • Up to 38MB per second, £0.00 broadband and £17.40 line rental per month over a 12 month contract

TalkTalk are offering free unlimited broadband for 18 months, £7.50 thereafter. Line rental is £17.70 per month over 18 month contract. £120 Love2shop voucher to new customers who order online.

  • Up to 17MB per second plus unlimited usage

TalkTalk Superfast Broadband

  • Up to 38MB per second, £10 per month for 12 months, £17.50 a month thereafter. Line rental £17.70 per month.

 

BT Unlimited Broadband,£7.50 a month for 12 months, then £20 per month (12 months contract), weekend calls included.

  • Up to 17Mb per second plus unlimited data usage

BT Unlimited Infinity + unlimited calls

£16 per month for up to 38MB/per second plus £15.90 line rental

 

SSE Everyday Broadband plus weekend calls, £21.49 per month with 18 months contract. Line rental is £13.49 per month.

  • Up to 17MB per second plus unlimited usage

SSE are offering free Ultrafast Fibre Broadband with Talk Anytime package at £21 per month including line rental.

  • Up to 38MB per second, £5.00 call bundle, £0.00 broadband and £16.00 line rental per month, 18 month contract