How to save money on your Utilities


As energy costs soar, finding those all important savings is becoming even more important . Reducing your outgoings for utilities is relatively easy to do once you can find your way through the mound of information that’s available. Whether you are into saving the planet or just saving yourself some money, here you will find clear pointers on a few easy steps to take:

There are two easy ways to reduce your bills, first by switching to a cheaper provider and secondly by reducing your consumption.

Provider information

Everyone has different circumstances so use a web site like By answering a series of questions about your current usage (have your usage details to hand) they will analyse the data and provide costed options. They have expanded their coverage to now include electricity, gas, water and telephones.

If you prefer a Green Energy option you could also take a look at although uSwitch does cover green energy providers..A new rating system is likely to be introduced in the autumn for green energy producers to provide consumers with more supplier information so that they can make a better choice.

Reducing your consumption

General efficiencies

The following costs/savings refer to an average home:

Suggestion Benefit
  • Insulate lofts and walls
40% of heat is lost through these in an average house. 250 - 270mm of loft insulation is recommended and wall insulation can save £100 - £120 on a typical heating bill. Check the web for government grants.
  • Install double/secondary glazing
Reduces drafts/cold convection currents. 'Low E' glass helps keep house cool in summer, warm in winter
  • Turn the heating down
A 1ºC reduction could cut your heating bill by 10%
  • Insulate the hot water tank
Adding a 75mm jacket could save upto £20 a year
  • Adjust the hot water tank temperature to 50-55 ºC
This is warm enough for most, reduces the risk of scalding and saves energy/money
  • Draftproof your doors and windows
Simple, cheap and effective paying for itself within a year
  • Use a washing line to dry clothes
It's free and works well when weather permits
  • Solar panels, wind turbines, heat pumps
Currently costly to purchase/install but good longterm energy savings - check local planning restrictions
  • Look for freezers, washing machines and fridges with A or B ratings
Instant saving on electricity used
  • If not using - TURN OFF
Covers all lights, TV, radio etc. Don't leave on standby

Additional benefits for specific utilities:


  • Change to energy efficient light bulbs (they use less electricity and last much longer too - upto12 times longer than conventional bulbs)
  • Switch off that light when you are not in the room and use timers or light sensors for outside lights
  • Turn electrical items off when not in use – don’t leave them on standby, it may seem a small amount of electricity but you'll be surprised how it all adds up


  • Change to an efficient condensing boiler when you are next upgrading.


You cannot change supplier for your water supply but you can change to a water meter.  Most households would benefit from changing with savings of upto or more then £125 a year. Currently the installation of a meter is free and if you are not satsfied you can revert back within the year. Most to benefit are households with few occupants and high ratable value/council tax.

Reduce your water consumption by:

  • Installing a ‘hippo’ in each cistern. These are a simple, easy to install and low cost water saving device that help conserve water in toilet cisterns.  Each flush typically uses three litres of water but most toilets are just as effective with less.  Many water companies offer free hippos so check out your supplier but to buy them try or  Or for the cheapest solution just add a brick or squash bottle filled with water!
  • Don’t leave the tap running whilst you clean your teeth! A tap left running for 5 minutes can use up to 5 litres of water.
  • Only boil what water you need and when you need it – not only saves water but electricity too!
  • Fix that leaking tap – washers cost pence and are easy to replace
  • Only use the washing machine or dishwasher when they are full and use the economy programme whenever possible. However once in a while do a really hot wash to flush through any deposits.
  • If you have a garden think about having one or more water butts, these can be fitted to down pipes from garden sheds as well as house roofs. Check your local water company for offers.


  • Check your supplier carefully, think about when and how often you make calls but remember broadband needs etc
  • Some companies e.g. are free to register and charge only for the connection enabling you to talk for hours for a few pence (UK land lines). Likewise, BT and cable companies have various packages. Choose the most suitable for you.
  • Contact the telephone preference service to reduce unsolicited marketing/sales calls
  • Mobile phone services are constantly changing so next time you are ready to upgrade search around. If you use the mobile rarely, 'pay as you go' is probably best, otherwise compare the offerings of the providers (and deals offered by retailers) before deciding on a monthly contract. U switch covers these well, guiding you through the handsets and deals available.
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