As the summer concludes, cozy jumpers and pumpkin spiced latte season returns. The shift into autumn brings a crisp morning air and a slight drop in temperature. While you may be tempted to stick on the heating, the cost-of-living crisis has been affecting homes all over the place. With the rising energy prices, many homes are struggling to make ends meet and cope with this inflation. Luckily, we’ve created a guide to saving money on your bills this autumn, which you can continue to do through the winter months too! If you want to find out more about saving money on your bills, keep on reading this blog.
The Cost-Of-Living Crisis It’s no secret that the cost of living crisis has had homes and businesses grappling with security and stability. The COVID-19 pandemic caused some supply-related problems, leading to a recession. Following this, the conflict in Ukraine also increased commodity prices and heightened demand for materials. For over 18 months, prices have been rising at a rapid rate (the fastest in decades), and homes simply aren’t able to keep up.
The cost of living crisis has meant that rent prices have been increasing, wages are lower, bills have become extortionate, and there is a lack of affordable housing. These are only a few of the issues created by the inflation, and for many families, the biggest challenge is going to be finding the money to pay the bills every month.
What Measures Can I Take To Save On My Bills This Autumn?
We understand how difficult these times are, and our list of measures you can take is here to help you bring the costs of your bills down.
If you haven’t had your home insulated, it may be worth looking into. Insulation is extremely good at controlling the transfer of heat and means that your home will stay warmer for longer. It’s extremely useful for trapping heat inside your house and keeps rooms at a consistent temperature.
You can look into loft insulation, solid wall insulation, or cavity wall insulation for your home. This can be worth the investment in the winter, as insulation will keep your home warm at night without you having to leave the heating running all night. It makes it more cost-effective for you to put your central heating on to a timer too, as the insulation will help to keep the house warmer for longer.
More heat can escape through your windows than you realize, and investing in double glazing is an effective way to help trap more heat in your home. Double glazing your windows should last about 25 to 30 years! So, if you’ve been putting it off, now could be the time to get your double glazing installed!
Turning off the lights is one part of saving on your energy bill; however, investing in more efficient appliances, including your lights, can also make a ton of difference. Try investing in LED light bulbs or fixtures to help you cut down on your energy bill. These types of lights have a much smaller carbon footprint and additionally waste less energy. They are extremely durable and last a long time, so it is definitely worth considering switching your lighting up for the colder months!
It may seem like an insignificant way to warm up, however it can be extremely effective in staying warm and saving on your bills. Multiple thin layers can help to insulate your body, and investing in thermal tops, leggings, and socks can help to keep you warm throughout the day.
Identifying draughts and gaps where heat might escape/cold air can come in will help your home massively in retaining heat. Stopping draughts can help you save up to “20 a year on your bills. Try checking these areas to spot draughts or air leaks:
● Doors - You can find a range of draught excluders that prevent draughts from traveling underneath your doors, keeping the heat in each room.
● Windows - Much like doors, you can find draught-proofing strips for your windows, preventing hot air from escaping through these thin spaces.
● Attic - A well-insulated attic space will do a good job of draught-proofing and regulating the temperature of your entire house.
Maximize Natural Heat
If you have large windows or areas of your house where lots of natural light gets in, you can use this to your advantage! Try opening up your blinds or curtains when it’s particularly sunny to maximize on the natural heat. This can help you reduce the need to put the heating on throughout the day, and you may start to notice this when your energy bill comes along.
If you want to stay more in control of your heating, you can invest in a range of smart heating controls. You may already have a smart meter that helps you keep track of how much you’ve spent each day. This can be useful to help keep you within a budget or simply monitor the amount you’re spending.
Additionally, you can find a lot of smart controls for your heating nowadays. There are a range of apps and smart heating controls that you can use to control your heating even when you aren’t at home. If you realize no one is in your house, you can turn the heating off or turn it on just before you get home to have a toasty house when you get back. These features make it easier to control when your heating is on and off, helping you save on unnecessary spending.
If you find yourself struggling with your current energy company, there’s no harm in doing your research and investigating other options. There may be other providers who can offer you a much cheaper deal!
If you find an energy provider that you want to switch to, we recommend doing this as soon as possible, before the colder months hit and you end up paying more than you need to.
Grants & Schemes
There are a range of government-funded and non-funded schemes that you can find to help you out in these colder months. The Warm Home Discount is offered and can help you save up to £150 on your energy bills. However, this is a one-off discount on your electricity bill, rather than a monthly rolling discount. To see if you are eligible, visit the government website to apply! This scheme reopens in October 2023.
If you find yourself still struggling to make ends meet and stay warm this year, you could look into funded schemes that aren’t government-funded, such as the ECO4 Scheme, which is used to help vulnerable or low-income households. This scheme is an obligation for energy companies to deliver energy-efficient measures to homes that fall into specific bands.
If you want to apply for the ECO4 Scheme, you can check whether your home falls into E, F, or G energy efficiency bands. You also need to be receiving at least one of the following benefits to then qualify for the ECO4 Scheme:
● Income Related Employment And Support Allowance
● Income-Based Jobseekers Allowance
● (Esa) Income Support
● Pension Credit Guarantee
● Working Tax Credit
● Child Tax Credits
● Housing Benefit
● Pension Credit Savings
● Universal Credit
● Child Benefits
If you are eligible for this scheme, you can apply straight away; however, if you’re unsure about your eligibility, simply check out the website to find more information.
Not on a benefit?
You may qualify for funding through other schemes such as the Great British Insulation Scheme or the Local Authority Flexibility Funding element of ECO.
If you’re looking for more information regarding heating funding schemes, insulation, upgrading heating systems, or more, you’re in the right place. Here at Direct Savings, we offer a range of services designed to help you heat your home effectively this year.
For further enquiries or more information, get in touch with us today to speak to our team directly. We will be happy to help you find what you’re looking for and answer any further queries!