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Fuel Poverty - Coping with rising energy bills

Find out more about the factors that contribute to fuel poverty and the help that might be available to you

Coping with rising energy bills

Make sure you’re getting the best deal on gas and electricity

If you live in England, Scotland or Wales, there are lots of different companies supplying energy so you can choose to buy your gas and electricity from those that offer you the best deal.  The Citizens Advice website has information about energy (NB: Make sure you look at the information for the country of the UK you live in).

  • The way you pay for your gas and electricity also has an impact the amount it costs 

  • Buying both gas and electricity from the same supplier can cost less

  • Paying by monthly direct debit rather than quarterly bill usually saves you money

  • Some suppliers offer benefits such as money off future bills for switching to paperless bills

  • Gas and electricity can be more expensive if you use a pre-payment meter

  • Some energy companies offer you the chance to fix your energy prices over a certain period of time. This means your bills will not go up if the price of electricity or gas goes up – but remember that they will still go up if you use more energy.

Understand your statement and read your meters

A better understanding of the information provided on your statement could help you identify and solve problems at an early stage. The Citizens Advice website has a helpful online tool: Understanding your energy bill, which explains how and where to find the most useful information on the statements of each of the 'Big Six' energy suppliers. (NB: Make sure you look at the information on the website for the country of the UK.)

Bills are often estimated, so reading your meter and passing the reading on to your supplier will make sure you only pay for what you have used. The Citizens Advice website has information on how to read your energy meter (NB: Make sure you look at the information on the website for the country of the UK you live in by selecting it from the drop down box on the page).

Take steps to cut your energy use

You only pay for the electricity and gas that you actually use, so a good way for us to cope with rising prices is to try to use energy efficiently:

  • Cut your bills by turning the thermostat on your heating down by one degree and heating your home for one less hour a day.

  • Stop heat escaping by sealing skirting boards, using draft excluders in front of doors and letterboxes and drawing your curtains after dark. Double-glazing reduces the heat loss through windows by 50%

  • Save electricity by turning appliances off rather than leaving them on standby, unplug chargers and switch lights off when not in use

  • Do not over fill kettles and always put lids on saucepans when cooking

  • Only run washing machines, driers and dishwashers with a full load and use lower temperature settings. Driers use lots of electricity, so drying washing on a line will help cut bills

  • Switch to low energy light bulbs. They cost a bit more but last 12 times longer and help cut your electricity bills

  • Insulating your loft and cavity walls, installing an energy efficient boiler and switching to low energy appliances will all help cut costs.

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