Finance and pensions
writer John Fitzsimons investigates the best ways to warm your home up on a budget.
1. Are you on the right energy deal?
One of the simplest ways to make sure that you keep your winter heating bills to a minimum is by checking that you’re on a competitive tariff.
Millions of households in the UK are sitting on their suppliers’ standard tariffs, which are not only the most expensive deals, but also the ones subject to the price rises announced by suppliers. Switching to a new deal could save you a substantial amount.
According to regulator Ofgem
, while the typical household will pay an average of £1,137 a year if they are on a standard tariff, the cheapest available tariff would see that bill drop down to just £892.
Abbie Sampson, director of external affairs at Energy UK
, says that it’s worth shopping around to compare tariffs, or even simply calling your existing supplier to see if they can move you to a cheaper deal.
‘Make sure your supplier is signed up to the Energy Switch Guarantee
, an industry initiative that makes switching simple, speedy and safe,’ she adds.
2. Move your sofa
If you find you need the heating on a long time in order to heat up your front room, then you might want to reconsider the positioning of your furniture.
For example, if you have your sofa against the wall, then hot air won’t be able to circulate completely around the room, making it feel colder. By pulling the sofa a couple of inches away from the wall, the air can circulate better.
3. Could your energy supplier help insulate your home?
The better your home’s insulation, the more heat it will keep within the property, rather than having it seeping out through your walls and windows. As a result, you won’t need to keep your heating on for as long to keep it warm, saving you money on your winter heating bill in the process.
Insulation can take many forms, from cavity insulation in your walls to lagging on your water tanks and pipes. If you’ve got an attic, you should also roll some insulation out along the floor.
It’s worth speaking to your energy supplier about insulation, as they may offer free cavity wall and loft insulation.