Fuel bills and energy efficiency

Save money and get help with your fuel bills

Small changes to how you use your energy will help you save on your bills. Find out how and where to get help with your bills.

Keeping warm

It is important to keep warm in winter – both inside and outdoors. Keeping warm over the winter months can help to prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression.

  • heat your living area to 21°C (70°F) and 18°C (65°F) for the rest of your home. If the temperature in your home falls below 16°C (61°F) you are increasing the risk of illness such as chest infections and hypothermia
  • keep your bedroom window closed on winter nights because breathing cold air can be bad for your health as it increases the risk of chest infections
  • keep active when you’re indoors. If you are able, try to move around at least once an hour to warm your body up
  • wear several layers of light clothes because they trap warm air better than one bulky layer
  • take advantage of financial schemes and discounts to help you pay for heating
  • make sure you get your flu jab

Make your home more energy efficient

Tips on how to improve your heating and save money on your energy bills include:

  • use quilted curtains to cover draughty windows
  • set your heating to come on just before you get up and switch off after you’ve gone to bed
  • set hot water temperature to 60°C
  • put a hot water bottle in your bed
  • use energy saving light bulbs where possible, and turn the lights of when you are not in the room
  • switch off any appliances at the socket when not in use
  • draught-proof windows and doors
  • only heat the home when it is occupied
  • insulate your hot water cylinder and pipes

This information taken from Energy Savings Trust 2017 based on a detached property with gas central heating.

Change your energy use 

Tips on how to change your energy use:

  • turn appliances off when not in use and avoid using stand-by buttons - estimated saving per year £20
  • turn lighting off when not in use and use energy saving bulbs to save money and energy – estimated saving per year £20
  • install inexpensive radiator panels to reflect heat back into rooms when radiators are positioned on an external wall – £7 each and use Thermostatic Radiator Valves to control temperature - estimated saving per year £60
  • close curtains at night and tuck them behind radiators – estimated saving per year £10
  • do not open windows if it gets too hot, adjust the thermostat instead - estimated saving per year £60
  • avoid frequently using plug in heaters and electric bar fires. Central heating is less expensive to run - estimated saving per year £300
  • only boil enough water in your kettle for your needs – estimated saving per year £30
  • a microwave oven is more cost effective for cooking small items than an electric oven - estimated saving per year £5
  • use pan lids to reduce steam and the energy needed for cooking - estimated saving per year £30
  • use economy setting at 30°C on washing machines and dry clothing outdoors or in a well-ventilated room - estimated saving per year £50
  • turn down your thermostat down by 1°C - estimated saving per year £60
  • save energy and water by having a shower instead of a bath - estimated saving per year £40
  • use a water-saving shower head - estimated saving per year £5

Discounts or support for energy bills

  • Warm Home Discount - provides eligible households with a discount on their electricity bill of up to £140. You will be eligible for mandatory support if you receive the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit even if you get Savings Credit as well on the qualifying day. Contact your electricity supplier.
  • Winter Fuel Payment – is an annual payment to help older people with the cost of keeping warm in winter. Payments are automatic between November and December to those receiving State Pension or specific benefits. Call the Winter Duel Payment helpline for details on Tel: 03459 151 51.
  • Cold Weather Payment – is made to eligible households on means tested benefits in areas where exceptionally cold weather’ is forecast or has occurred. Automatic payments amount to £25 per qualifying week between 1st November and 31st March.