Around this time every year I start to get the panics about Christmas. With only two pay cheques left until the big C-day, I worry that I haven’t budgeted enough for presents and tasty food. It feels like the summer holiday was a minute ago and I’m still playing catch-up with the finances. And so, predictably, October is always the month of a budget overhaul in our house, as we check we’re making the best spending decisions and seek out better deals.
One thing we regularly look at each year is our energy supplier. In the past we’ve switched providers a couple of times when we’ve realised we’re paying way over the odds for our gas and electricity, and this has made a huge impact on our monthly income. Switching energy suppliers is like some kind of life milestone. I remember the first time we did it and feeling like we’d reached proper “adult” status. It felt terribly responsible and grown-up.
If switching supplier is a daunting prospect for you then it’s worth checking out the new Be an Energy Shopper – website from Ofgem, the energy regulator. There are three categories to the site to help you get your head around the options; a section explaining your bill, a section looking at energy deals and tariffs, and a section dedicated to switching suppliers.
We went onto the energy tariffs page to check we’re on the best tariff to suit our family and house. There’s a wealth of information in this section explaining different types of tariffs, as well as the potential benefits of various types of payment options (eg. pre-payment or direct debit). It’s all broken down into easily manageable chunks, so when you’re trying to process all this information at 9pm after a long day (as we were), it’s not too taxing.
Another part of the BAES site which we found really useful was the energy saving advice on the tariffs section. Although we don’t use a tumble dryer and I like to think of myself as pretty energy savvy when turning off “vampire appliances”, there are other ways we can save money which I’d never thought of before. Did you know, for example, that turning down your thermostat by one degree could save you £75 over the course of a year? No, me neither.
We’re still yet to decide if we’re going to stick with the same supplier or switch to a new one, but it’s always something worth considering as it could make a big difference to your household bills. There’s a really useful list of Ofgem approved comparison sites now available, which means the whole process of seeking out the best deal is painless and simple – even if you’re stuck for time which I always seem to be.
Have you got any other good energy saving tips to share? Leave them in the comments below as I’m always partial to a bit of energy saving advice!
Thanks to BAES for working with me on this post. For more information about how I work with brands check out my Work With Me page.
I really need to overhaul my out-goings and gas and electric as I know we are paying too much but have just been time short to do anything about it – thanks for this post for reminding me it doesn’t need to take up loads of time
Lottie | Oyster & Pearl says
Very glad of this reminder. We’re very skint so looking to save as much as possible!
I have to say Greig is really good at shopping around for our suppliers and has managed to find some pretty good green options too x
Ooh I think it’s almost at the time of year when I like to make sure I’m getting the best deals on my energy – thanks for the reminder! It’s such a small switch that can make a huge difference. This is a comparison website I haven’t looked at before, I’ll check it out now x
There are loads of tips on here, with links to various comparison websites worth looking at. Gosh I feel marginally old talking about this sort of thing!
Slummy single mummy says
Gosh, I have loads of things! One thing we’ve done recently is to get new thermal curtains for our bedroom. Always open curtains in the day, even when it’s cold, as the sunlight does help to warm the room. Close them once it’s dark though to keep out the cold. Where I have radiators under windows, I tuck the curtains behind them.
Ooh that IS a good tip. I’m going to try this in the girls’ rooms as theirs seem to suffer most from the cold and draughty fireplaces. x
I’m so with you – we try to switch suppliers as often as we need to. It definitely pays to shop around. Very useful post Molly!
It does doesn’t it? And it’s really easy to do these days – not a huge hassle like I used to think.
Polly Davies says
Great post – it’s something that we all think about this time of year I thinik – when we’re in more, and need the lights and heating on all day! I try and keep my thermostat turned down and don’t use a tumble dryer either
We don’t have a tumble dryer either. I do often moan about this when the washing’s piling up and there’s nowhere to dry stuff in the winter, but I know I’d notice the increase in cost.