Winter is coming: how to keep your bills cool
With the warm sunny days coming to an end, you might be starting to use more power to keep your home warm. However, more heating generally means a higher bill; check out our tips to keep the power bill down while the heating is high.
Make sure you’re on the right plan
Are you a higher user or a low user? Most power companies offer at least two different rate structures – standard and low. To avoid paying more than you need to, making sure you’re on the right plan is a good way to start.
If you are a low power user, you generally pay a higher daily charge and a lower per-unit charge. This type of plan is ideal for households with only one or two people, and holiday homes, where you might only have the fridge/freezer running with any regularity.
However, if you have a larger household, and frequently run appliances such as dryers and dishwashers, you will want to make sure you are on the high user rate, to avoid an eye-watering surprise when the bill comes in.
Some power companies also offer ‘night’ rates, or free power for a set period. If you have modern appliances with a time delay on them, using this type of benefit could see you saving money, even over winter.
Ask for a review
If your power bill seems unusually high, even allowing for the extra heating, ask your power retailer for a review of your account. Your power company will check that you have been charged correctly, and they could let you know if there was an extraordinary amount of power used on a particular day.
Most power companies can give you some good tips on how to save on your power bill; check out what your retailer has to say.
Don’t skip payments
Not only can missing payments cost you more money, as late fees are added, they may also affect your credit score. Credit scores are based on positive reporting, so each time a bill is paid late, it could have an impact.
If your bill is just too much for your budget to bear at the moment, talk to your power retailer. They may be able to set you up on a repayment plan, which will save you the stress of maybe getting disconnected.
Keep an eye on energy leaks around the home
A drop here and there may not seem like much but dripping hot water taps can add hundreds to your bill over the year. Plus, if you have older appliances, make sure they’re not costing you over the odds. Sometimes, replacing them may be cheaper than keeping them running.
Perhaps you have an old fridge out in the garage that you use for extra drinks when you have visitors? Unplug the fridge when not in use, to avoid paying to keep an empty fridge cold.
Save power as much as possible
Is your house ‘lit up like a Christmas tree?’ If so, start making it a habit to turn off lights when there is no-one in the room. Even a few cents per bulb can add up over a year.
The same goes for heating. If no-one is in the room, do you still need to heat it? Keep doors to unused rooms shut, to help the heat stay where you need it most.
If you are on electrical hot water heating, change your washing machine to a cold wash, and only do the washing when you have a full load. Hot water is usually the biggest cost on an electricity bill so finding ways to reduce your consumption can make a big difference.
These are some of our top tips for saving money, even over winter. Challenge your family to help you save on electricity and reduce the power bill.
Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure the content is correct, the information provided is subject to continuous change. Please use your discretion and seek independent guidance before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article.