The average, combined, UK fuel bill (gas and electricity) has more than doubled since 2007 – to around £1,400 a year. Not surprisingly, many households on low incomes struggle to heat their homes.

If this affects you, here are some top tips to stay warm and help you reduce your bills:

  • Reducing your shower time by a minute will save on average £23 per person per year.
  • Turning down your thermostat by one degree can save you up to 10% on your fuel bills and an average of £55 a year.
  • Draw your curtains or blinds in the evenings to minimise heat loss through windows.
  • Use draught excluders to prevent heat from escaping under doors.
  • In very cold weather, instead of turning the thermostat up, set the heating so that it comes on earlier. That way, you won’t be cold while you wait for the house to heat up.
  • Remember to adjust your heating as the weather changes. Using the heating less during warmer periods is more comfortable as well as more efficient.
  • Make sure the temperature on your water cylinder does not exceed 60°C.
  • Make sure you give us access to carry out your annual gas service. A better working boiler uses less energy.
  • Save energy by not leaving appliances on standby or leaving chargers plugged in (even when the appliance is charged, it still draws electricity). This can save you an average of £50 a year.
  • Use energy-saving lightbulbs – look out for free bulb giveaways at community events. An energy saving light bulb saves you £3 of electricity usage per bulb.
  • When cooking, match the size of the ring to the saucepan. Gas hobs should only heat the bottom, not the sides, of a pan.
  • If you’re drying clothes indoors, don’t put them over a radiator. This stops the heat from reaching the rest of the room and causes condensation.
  • Make the most efficient use of your fridge by defrosting it regularly. Avoid leaving the door open and allow food to cool before putting it into the fridge.

If you would like further advice, consider becoming an Energy Champion.