If you’ve recently got married or entered a civil partnership and moved into your new home as a couple, there are a number of things that you’re going to start having to manage together. One of these will be gas and electricity bills. You may have already decided beforehand who will be expected to pay for this each month, or perhaps you’re sharing the costs.
Energy bills have been gradually rising year on year, and with a large number of providers to choose from, it’s definitely recommended that you compare gas and electricity prices to get the cheapest deal available. The typical household on average can save around £300 per year on their energy bills. There are many different ways that can help you do this, check out the following tips to get you started.
How to save money on gas and electricity bills as a new couple:
Switch energy suppliers
The quickest way to save money on your energy bills is to switch energy supplier. Whether you own your home or are renting, as long as you’re responsible for paying the gas and electric bill, you should be able to switch. However, if your landlord has included energy as part of the monthly rent within your tenancy agreement, you may not be able to choose the supplier.
Even customers that have a prepayment meter installed will be able to switch energy providers.
To switch suppliers, it’s useful to have a copy of your most recent bill to hand before you begin. Use the internet to visit an energy comparison website and do the following:
- Select if you wish to compare gas only, electricity only, or duel fuel tariffs.
- Enter details about your current usage (found on your most recent bill) and property size.
- You’ll then be presented with a list of suppliers to choose from, these can be sorted by the lowest price.
- Once you’ve found a supplier and tariff that you’re happy with, select this from the available options.
- Enter your personal details and payment information.
- Review all the information to make sure it’s accurate and select ‘confirm’.
- You will now be transferred over to your new energy provider within 21 working days.
If you are eligible for the Government’s Warm Home Discount scheme, make sure your new supplier offers this as not all energy companies have signed up to this initiative.
Paying by direct debit
Most energy companies will offer customers the option to pay by direct debit. By doing so, they may even give you a discount for choosing this payment method. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about missing any payments as they will be taken directly from your bank account.
It’s still advisable that you make sure to check what amount has been taken from your account each time a payment is made, and make sure this figure corresponds with that on the bill.
Use less energy
Although it sounds very simple, using less energy will help you reduce your gas and electricity bills. There are a number of ways to do this. You could start by turning off any appliances that are not in use. Reduce the temperature on your thermostat. Set your heating with a timer so it only activates when you need it most. Here are some further ideas for you to consider:
- By reducing your thermostat by even 1°C, you could reduce your heating bill by 10%, or around £75 annually.
- When you’re no longer in the room, turn off the lights.
- Make sure your dishwasher and/or washing machine has been filled to maximum capacity before using it.
- Install LED energy saving light bulbs which are more energy efficient and longer lasting.
Improve your home’s energy efficiency
You can improve your home’s energy efficiency and become more eco-friendly. Here’s a list of things for you to consider:
- Double or triple glazed windows
- Install a new energy efficient boiler
- Loft insulation
- Install solar panels to generate electricity
There are a number of options available, some may cost more than others but over a longer period of time, you will notice the amount saved on your annual bill. Please note that most of these options will not be available to those that are in rented accommodation.
What about prepayment meters?
Even if you’re on a prepayment meter, you can still switch energy suppliers. Prepayment meters offer a ‘Pay as You Go’ tariff type. This means that you will need to top this up before you can use any gas or electricity. You can top it up by using a meter key, tokens, and some suppliers now even allow you to top up using their smartphone application.
The main advantage of a prepayment meter is that you won’t be able to spend more than you have topped up, helping you control spending. However, be warned that these are far more expensive than other available tariffs on the market and you won’t be able to get the cheapest deal available.
Personal finance can be a little more complex when you’re moving in as a couple. However, it doesn’t have to be stressful. We hope that by following these tips, you can save money on your energy bills and put the savings to good use on the more exciting aspects in life!