Avoid energy bill panics

As winter closes in we’re getting ready to face the dullest, darkest weather the climate can throw our way. And there’s more bad news for those inclined to reach for the thermostat at the first sign of seasonal chill. Several of Britain’s biggest electricity providers have announced eye-watering price rises, even though wholesale costs of supplying energy have decreased.

Switch providers

Switching your energy supplier has long been one of the most highly recommended strategies for saving money on energy bills. You could save up to £300 on your bill but millions of people have never even considered it. Unfortunately, now that all companies are pushing up prices, it’s harder to get these savings with providers as they’re pulling their most favourable deals off the shelves. It might be best to wait until all the energy companies have announced their prices, as this will give you the chance to compare tariffs.

Fix your bills

The same goes for ‘fixing’ your bills, which means paying a premium to ensure they don’t rise during a certain period, often anywhere between 18 months and three years. By protecting you from unexpected price hikes, fixing offers a rare bit of certainty at a time when the cost of living is repeatedly changing. Again, consumer vigilance and tenacity is your best weapon. Do your research and check the small print: some fixed deals tie you into paying exit fees if you want to terminate them before they would naturally expire.

Buy savvy

Not only are energy efficient appliances cheaper to run, they’re better for the environment. Nowadays most white goods come in eco-friendly variants so check out the selection of energy efficient tumble dryers, washing machines, ovens and fridges to save money and the planet.

Read your own meter

If you don’t already, always ensure you read your electricity meter yourself rather than relying on your energy provider to estimate your usage for you. Leaving the energy giants to guess how much you’ve used, rather than checking the exact amount, means your bills tend to be higher than they would be otherwise.

Go direct

When it comes to your energy bills, it pays to be cynical. The primary concern of the big six energy providers is making money and to have reliable customers who pay them on time and ensure a steady flow of cash. Use that to your advantage by switching to monthly direct debits. These are based on estimates of your annual usage, which is split into 12 so you will pay the same amount every month. Many companies promote these more regular payments, offering reduced tariffs as a trade-off for a more reliable income.

Don’t let rising energy prices ruin your winter – with some savvy shopping you can keep warm and carry on this season.

this post was written in partnership with Very