With the cold winter nights drawing in, households up and down Britain are now reluctantly switching on their heating.
The energy price cap has been set at £1,923 since October 1 2023. And while this is down on last year, the Energy Price Guarantee and Energy Bill Support Scheme both ended this year, meaning households will be paying about the same as they were last winter.
It's complicated, but this article we wrote earlier this year explains why you won’t be much better off.
The cost of electricity is about 27p/kWh while the cost of gas is 7p/kWh.
It means the average gas and electricity bill is about £160 a month.
So we've looked at a few ways you could save up to £200 a year on your energy bills - which could basically give you more than a month for free.
How to reduce energy bills
1. Bleed your radiators
Bleeding your radiators will ensure hot water is reaching all corners of the heater.
The simple process removes trapped air and built-up pressure, making more heat emit faster, warming the room more quickly and efficiently.
You'll know your radiator needs bleeding if it's cold at the top when switched on. Sometimes it will cause clicking and banging in the pipes too.
Usually you'll need to use a radiator bleed key, but some older radiator valves can be opened with a screwdriver or pliers.
When the central heating system is turned off, slowly open the valve at the top of the radiator to let the air escape. Close it when water starts to leak out - and be armed with a cloth or towel to catch any drips!
You may need to correct your boiler pressure afterwards, according to the Daily Express.
2. Switch off the pre-heat boiler feature
The pre-heat function on a combi boiler keeps it warm constantly so it can heat water more quickly.
But it's thought to cost about £108 a year to keep going, according to boiler engineer Daniel Khanlarpour from Gas Guru.
Disabling the function will only add a few extra seconds to the time it takes for hot water to come through.
3. Draft proofing
Anything to stop heat from escaping will reduce energy usage. Draft excluders will stop heat flying under doors, while brush wiper seals around external doors are also effective.
About a fifth of a home's heating is lost via windows, according to Historic England.
Drawing the curtains will prevent some air reaching windows. You can even buy foam tape to stick inside window and door frames to stop draughts.
Chimney dampers can reduce draughts when not in use, while rugs stop heat escaping between floorboards.
Draft proofing is thought to save about £45 a year, while draught proofing a chimney can save another £65 a year, according to the Energy Saving Trust.
4. Hot water tank jacket
If you have a hot water cylinder, it's worth buying a jacket for it, or checking its thickness if you already have one.
It should be at least 80mm thick, according to the Energy Saving Trust.
A new one costs about £20 and increasing the thickness from 25mm to 80mm could see savings of £45 a year.
5. Radiator reflective panels
You may have heard about putting foil behind your radiators, but a reflective panel is a bit better. They reflect heat back into the home, rather than it being lost to an external wall.
You don't need the reflective panels behind all radiators, just the ones which are on external walls.
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