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It's chilly out there, and as the weather worsens it's becoming increasingly hard not to stick the heating on. Although winter fuel costs can be high, ensuring that equipment such as boilers and radiators are in good working order, and keeping an eye on your tariff really can help keep costs down. There are also a variety of heating benefits available which can help lower overall heating costs, and even if you don't qualify, there are still ways to save money throughout the colder months. We've compiled the best tips from gransnetters to help you cut down on heating costs this winter.
Switching to another tariff could potentially help you save money and lower the overall cost of heating your home through the winter months. If you are considering switching, there is a wealth of guides and information online that would allow you to compare your current usage and rates to those of other energy providers. There are also different savings and tariffs available depending on whether you have gas or electric heating or switch between the two.
Oil heating can be significantly more expensive then electric, so it's important to compare your energy usage with the rates in the tariff to be sure that your costs don't exceed reasonable expectation.
If you are concerned that your gas heating (whether it's central or not) may be costing more than it should, or more than you can afford, then review your rates and tariff to see whether a switch might benefit you, and consider applying some of the available heating schemes.
For gas heating, or a combination of gas and electric, fixed price tariffs are available lasting from 12 months to two years.
Some gas heating providers also offer free boilers and insulation as part of energy efficiency upgrades, and it can be worth researching whether you may qualify if your current boiler is old or outdated.
For those with electric heating, there are several tariff options: an Economy 7, an Economy 10 and a fixed price tariff. An Economy 7 tariff allows you pay a different price for electricity at different times of day, while an Economy 10 tariff works in a similar way and discounts the rate of energy used during the off peak hours throughout the day. Each of the economy tariffs requires a different meter set up so be sure to check with your energy provider about what (if any) additional costs there may be for meter installation. A fixed price tariff might " also be an option for those with gas or electric, as it freezes the cost of your energy at a certain amount for a specific period of time.
There are several different heating benefits and schemes that can help you reduce your energy costs. Some, like the Winter Fuel Allowance are only available to those of a specific demographic, but others, like the Cold Weather Payment are open to those who are unable to work and those who have dependents. You may qualify for more than one scheme, so it is important to check and see what you're entitled to. In particular, the Winter Fuel allowance may not be automatically applied to you, so it's worth seeing whether you qualify for it, and if so, how to apply.
Some of the available energy schemes include:
If you're looking for ways to keep your home warm without increasing your heating and fuel costs, gransnetters have shared some practical energy saving tips that may help balance your usage and keep rooms warmer for longer.