Change your energy supplier

By staff writers
3 May 2007
Changing your electricity supplier is proving to be one of the best ways of saving money, but also doing your bit for the environment.

Experts suggest that by changing your electricity supplier, (and even your gas supplier at the same time) you can save hundreds of pounds a year.

Price comparison services mean that it can now be done quickly and easily online with the minumum of hastle - and you can even get cash back.

A number of websites exist which will estimate the amount of gas or electricity that you are using, and then compare the prices of the electricty suppliers and gas suppliers in your area.

Three in particular that are worth trying are: uswitch, SaveOnYourBills and EnergyOn

There are other ways to save money by saving energy too.

The most common waste of energy is said to be poor roof insulation that can cost an individual home an extra £170 a year. It is suggested that a potential saving of £120 could be made if cavity walls were filled.

Those keen to make extra savings can slash a further £60 off their annual energy bill by:

· Turning down indoor heating by 1 degree (£30 saving)

· Investing in energy saving light bulbs (£7 saving)

· Buying an insulation jacket for the hot water cylinder (£10-£20 saving)

Alan Tattersall, Director of Home Services at Uswitch.com states: “In light of the recent price hikes by four suppliers and due to the predicted cold winter we would encourage people to start making some small but important changes in the way they run their homes. As well as switching energy supplier, money can also be saved by adopting some good energy efficient habits such as not leaving the TV and computer on standby, switching lights off when not needed and buying draught excluders. A few measures like this can pay dividends towards reducing household expense.”

Tattersall continued: “Energy Saving Week is an important event in the calendar for raising awareness of both ‘green energy’ issues and of the human impact on climate change. It also highlights how much money customers can save by making a few lifestyle adjustments, or implementing simple changes about the home. With the price of energy as high as it’s ever been this is even more important to consumers.”

For those interested in doing more to help the environment, uSwitch.com has a green electricity comparison calculator on its website which enables customers to compare the best green tariffs for them.

Top Tips for Energy Saving:

To eliminate draughts and wasted heat use an easy-to-fix brush or PVC seal on your exterior doors.

Take showers instead of baths - an ordinary shower uses only two-fifths of the water needed for a bath.

If your boiler is more than 15 years old invest in a new one, which could save a third on heating bills.

Always switch lights off as soon as you leave a room and adjust your curtains and blinds to let as much light in as possible during the daylight hours.

Close your curtains at dusk to stop the heat escaping through the windows.

Always ensure you turn your taps off correctly. In one day, a dripping hot water tap can waste enough water to fill a bath.

Do not put hot food in the freezer or leave the fridge door open too long.

Regularly defrost your freezer and check the seals to make your appliances more efficient.

Replace light bulbs with energy saving light bulbs, which last 10 times longer, especially if you use a light for more than four hours a day.

Insulate your hot water tank with a British Standard jacket that’s at least 7.5cm thick. This small measure could save you £15 a year. *

Do not fill your kettle to the maximum each time you make a cup of tea, instead fill with just enough water for the number of cups you are making.

Make sure you always have a full load before running your washing machine and set the programme no higher than 40 degrees.

Turn your thermostat down a degree and put your heating and hot water on a timer.

Double-glazing is one of the best ways of keeping heat in but secondary glazing is a suitable cheaper alternative and is available at most DIY shops. For a temporary measure tape polythene across existing windows.

You can compare electricity prices and change your electricity supplier at the uswitch website here

To change electricity supplier on the EnergyOn web site click here

To change electricity supplier on the SaveOnYourBills website click here

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