Now more than ever we need to be careful with our spending, especially with energy bills. Making small changes to our energy habits can reduce how much we are spending annually. The UK government has created a Energy Bills Support Scheme which provides a discount of £400 to help with household expenses during the winter months.
How does the discount work?
The discount has been put into action as of October 1st automatically to any household in England, Wales and Scotland. For October and November, every household will have received £66 and for December, January, February and March, the discount added will be £67.
The discount will be added regardless of how you pay for your energy bill, whether you pay for your energy quarterly, or through monthly payments.
How is the discount applied?
If you pay for your energy bill through prepayment meters, you should be receiving the discount in the first week of every month. This could be sent to you as redeemable vouchers which could be through the post, SMS or email. Alternatively, there could be automatic credit when you top up at your top up point.
If you are paying through Direct debit, a reduction will be automatically added to your amount or a refund will be sent to your bank following the monthly collection.
How else can you reduce your energy bill?
The discount applied by the government is a slight help, but there are still ways to reduce the price of our energy bills even more. By making small changes, you can make savings which will decrease your overall energy usage.
- Turning off lights when you are not using them: This can save you around £25 a year, just by switching off when you are not needing them.
- Turn off standby: This can help you save an estimated £65 a year, from making sure all of your appliances are off when not in use.
- Reduce washing machine usage and using colder cycles: Enforced properly and on a weekly basis, you could save £34 a year by being more efficient with your washing.
- Where you can, dry your clothes on the washing line, or on standing drying racks: Reducing the use of your tumble dryer could result in an impressive saving of £70.
- Take quicker showers and avoid taking baths: Although it is a great luxury to have, reducing shower times and avoiding running baths can help you save around £20 on water and energy bills, based on a 4-minute shower.
- Make sure you have effective insulation: Making sure your hot water cylinder is insulated could accumulate a saving of £70 a year.
Other help which you could receive if you are struggling with your energy bill
If you are in need of extra help there are other ways of receiving support for your energy bill. The other types of support you could receive are:
- Cost of Living Payment: You could receive a payment of £650 if you are a household on benefits
- Applying for a grant
- Cold weather payments: These are one off payments to help for costs if the temperature drops below a certain level
- Pensioner cost of living payment: You could be eligible for a payment of £300 alongside the additional winter discount
- Disability cost of living: If you are eligible for disability benefits you can receive £150