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Keep your fuel bills manageable this winter

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Most households are seeking ways to minimise their heating bills this winter. Despite government promises to provide a partial rebate to some households to offset the projected increase in costs this winter, many customers will be faced with price increases. So what can you do to keep costs low – and your home cosy?

Be energy efficient

One of the best ways to keep energy costs down is to make your home more energy efficient. Contact your utility provider to see if they offer deals on loft insulation or cavity wall insulation for example. Double glazing greatly increases warmth retention, and even simple measures such as doorstoppers and draught preventers, thick curtains, carpets and warm jumpers all make a difference! Try turning down your thermostat slightly to save money on bills too.

Look at the right schemes

Energy providers are offering special deals on insulation and energy efficient boilers to help customers to keep heating costs low and some have special energy funds to help struggling customers with outstanding bills. Look out too for services such as priority customer registers which are provided to householders who are elderly, in ill health or who have a registered disability.

Providers such as npower provide cost discount schemes to help customers who need it most – such as the Warm Home Discount scheme which provides up to £135 towards the payment of energy bills. This scheme – and others like it are geared towards low-income families, elderly customers and disabled customers who may otherwise struggle to meet costs. Eligibility criteria applies, but this particular scheme alone is expected to assist more than 200,000 UK customers with their bill payments in the next year.

Shop around

Even if you aren’t eligible for a grant or assistance, you can save a healthy margin on your bills simply by shopping around. Call your energy supplier to check if you are on their best deal. Remember that you will pay a little more for a fixed price deal, but you will have the security of fixed bills for an agreed period of time. This is ideal for people who want certainty, and who cannot afford to absorb higher costs on variable price schemes.

Share good practice

Finally, go online to follow cost-saving forums and to get ideas for saving money – there is a great online community with similar aims and you will find excellent ideas and fresh approaches to try – all designed to help you to keep some extra precious cash in your pocket this winter!

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