Sally is a key member of the MoneyMaxim editorial team. She is a frequent hire-car user and often goes on holiday with her family. With an interest in getting great value for money, Sally shares her hints and tips for travelling and insurance.
With the start of autumn and the first feel of a chill in the air, many of us are starting to turn the heating back on and the lights are going on earlier and earlier. Now is a good time to start thinking about how you can save money on your gas and electricity bills.
There are many little (and some bigger) changes that we can all make in our daily routines that will add up to a big difference in how much we will pay for our gas and electricity. Not only that but cutting back on the amount of energy we consume also has a beneficial impact on the environment too.
Invest in an energy monitor. They don't cost a lot to buy and they could save you even more. A monitor will show you how much energy you are using during the day and which appliances are the most guilty!
Use your appliances wisely. Only run your dishwasher and washing machine when they are full. Wash clothes at 30°c whenever possible and dry clothes on a line rather then the tumble dryer. Don't overfill your kettle - only boil the amount of water you need.
Insulate everything! That includes the floor, cavity walls, your hot water tank and your attic (including the hatch). Don't forget to lag your pipes.
Block out those draughts. Heat can be lost easily from your home. Invest in draught excluders for your doors and draught-proof stripping for around your windows. Have double glazing installed if possible or look in your local store for DIY double glazing film. Even closing doors and curtains can help to keep warm air in.
Turn it off! Get the whole family into the habit of turning the lights off when they leave a room. Turn appliances off completely instead of leaving them on standby. You may be surprised how many are normally left on. Don't leave mobile phones or tablets charging overnight. In many cases it is not actually recommended by the manufacturer. Most only need a couple of hours to recharge.
Be energy efficient. If your boiler is over 10 years old, it may be worth replacing it. When buying new appliances pay attention to the energy ratings as they can vary widely. Switch to energy efficient lightbulbs and consider changing outside lights to solar-powered alternatives.
Little changes make a difference. Just turning down your thermostat and putting an extra jumper on could save you money. Turning it down by just 1°c can save the typical home up to £90 a year.
Pay what you owe. Read your meter regularly. If you don't, you could end up paying an estimated bill for more than you have actually used. Are you entitled to any discounts or grants? There are several different ways in which you can get help.
Get a good deal By using our Energy Comparison Service you can find the best offers available from all the current energy providers. It only takes a couple of minutes to enter your details and find how much you could be saving.