The downturn in the economy over the last few years has had an effect on almost every facet of our lives, particularly within the household.
One of the most galling aspects for UK consumers is the fluctuation in gas and electricity prices from the major energy suppliers, who at times can seem reluctant to pass on the savings that they are making in wholesale prices onto the consumers that they supply.There are however, a few methods that we can all use to alleviate the effects of any price increases. These are all simple tips that with a small time investment could see you begin to make real savings on your energy bills.* Change supplier if possible - This is not always an easy task as many consumers are locked into fixed tariffs. However, if you are in position to change suppliers then it could pay to have a look on uSwitch or any of the comparison websites to see if you could save money by changing supplier.* Lower the temperature of your washing machine -" many of us are guilty of throwing our dirty laundry in the machine and using the same settings or every wash. However, if we study the settings on our domestic appliances we can see that there are many lower temperature settings that are just as effective at cleaning our clothes (there are now specialist low temperature washing powders available).* Manage temperature effectively when not at home - If you have to go away for any period of time (particularly winter) it is advisable not to turn heating off to prevent the dangers of freezing and burst water pipes. However, remember that while you're absent it is the pipes that must be kept warm and not the interior of the house itself.* Check windows and doors for drafts - Its worth doing an inspection of the windows and doors within your home to try and discover any gaps that are letting in air from outside. If there are it could save a great deal on heating costs by replacing the seals or possibly even the windows or doors themselves. Admittedly, this is an expensive solution in the short term, but a solid investment for the future.* Control your thermostat - if you lower your thermostat by just one degree you can save money. Also if you are able to program the settings to automatically switch off (or lower) during the night this will save further on you bills.* Grants for home energy improvement - Check with your local authority and gas supplier to see if any grants are available towards better instillation or more efficient central heating systems. In the UK you may be eligible for grants if you are on a lower income, are elderly or you have a family.These are just a few measures that could be taken to lower your energy bills. Hopefully upon implementing some of these measures your energy bills will begin to become more manageable.