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Top 10 ways to save money at home this winter

Abigail Fenton
·4-min read
Bleeding the radiator could save you money on your heating bill. (Julian Hochgesang/Unsplash)
Bleeding the radiator could save you money on your heating bill. Photo: Julian Hochgesang/Unsplash

With the cold weather here to stay, as well as ongoing COVID-19 restrictions and home-working, financial pressures are set to be exacerbated in the UK.

In fact, Brits could see their energy costs rise by up to £300, research suggests.

With this in mind, experts at Hitachi Personal Finance shared 10 top tips on how to save money on your household bills.

Top 10 ways to save money on your household bills

1. Only boil the water you need

Brits consume 165 million cups of tea each day – but two thirds of people boil far more water than they need.

Collectively, UK tea drinkers could collectively save nearly £1m a day in electricity savings by only boiling what's needed, data from We Are Donation shows.

That's not even including coffee drinkers, or boiling water for cooking.

Watch: Met Office Issues Weather Warning as Snow Blankets Northern England

2. Don’t over shop

For most households, the fridge is the single biggest power consumer, running 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

To keep costs as low as possible, pack the fridge about two thirds full without overcrowding, the experts advised.

This allows the cold air to circulate and means less than a third of the cold air can escape when you open the door.

3. Lower the thermostat

While it may seem like a small change, adjusting the thermostat to just one degree lower can reduce your heating bill by up to 10%, research shows.

READ MORE: UK electricity bills could eventually soar due to Brexit

4. Bleed your radiators

If a radiator is colder at the top than at the bottom, this usually means it needs bleeding.

This process releases the trapped air that stops radiators heating up properly, impacting the efficiency of your heating system.

5. Take a shower

Taking a shower instead of a bath saves around 40% of the water – and therefore cuts the cost of heating that water – according to data from the Centre for Sustainable Energy.

Of course, this is dependent on the type of shower you have and duration of the shower.

6. Upgrade your thermostat

“Updating your thermostat to a smart thermostat allows you to create automatic and programmable temperature settings based on daily schedules, weather conditions, and heating and cooling needs,” the experts explained.

“While the initial cost of this tech may seem high, keep in mind that savings through a smart thermostat could end up paying for itself in the long run.”

7. Check your windows

Simply closing and opening your curtains or blinds could help to reduce the energy use of your home.

Closing the blinds or curtains can add insulation to your windows – resulting in less heat loss.

Meanwhile, on sunnier winter days, opening the curtains will allow sunlight to shine through and help to heat inside spaces.

READ MORE: Solar power could save Brits £350 a year on energy bills

8. Heating help for renters

Since April, all rental properties with an energy-performance rating of F or G must be improved to E, and this cost is payable by your landlord.

So, if you are renting, check if your home will be made more energy efficient, as this will help reduce your heating bills.

9. Warm home discount

The warm home discount deducts £140 from winter energy bills, which benefits mainly OAPs without bumper private pension schemes.

However, some low-income families and people receiving benefits also qualify for this assistance.

Other benefit recipients should ask their supplier if they qualify for this discount, the experts advised.

10. Tax relief

If you are working from home, tax can be claimed back on up to £6 a week to help cover the additional costs, such as higher energy bills.

To claim tax back on working from home costs you will need to complete a P87 form online.

“You won't have to show receipts or prove this is how much you spent, but if you have been reimbursed by your employer, you can’t claim, as they have already included this,” the experts said.

Claimants usually get the money back by paying less tax, rather than receiving a refund. Your tax code may be adjusted to show this change.

Watch: By taking steps to weatherize your home, you can save money