Ideas for saving money on your gas and electricity bills

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1 Ideas for saving money on your gas and electricity bills 1

2 What is in this booklet Page The main things to check 3 Can you pay less for gas and electricity? 4 Money and help you can get 7 Help to make your home better 10 Things you can do at home 11 Words you may need to know 12 2

3 The main things to check 1. Can I get gas and electricity cheaper with my company or another company? 2. Am I on the best tariff? Tariff is the word for how much your gas and electricity costs 3. Can I get money to help me pay my bills or use less gas and electricity? 4. Can I do things at home to save gas and electricity? 3

4 Can you pay less for gas and electricity? You can check to see if you can pay less for your gas and electricity. You will need some information like:! How much you pay for your gas and electricity. This is called a tariff! What the cheapest tariff is for you! How much gas or electricity you used in the last year! How you pay for your gas and electricity! Your postcode You can find this information on: your bills or the annual statement letter the company sends you once a year. 4

5 You can use this information to check for cheaper gas and electricity. This may be from your company or another company. It is fine to change to another company if you pay the gas and electricity bills. Gas and electricity is sometimes cheaper if: you get gas and electricity with the same company. This is called dual fuel you get a fixed price deal. This is when your gas or electricity stays the same price for a certain time. The company should tell you when the price will end and move you to their cheapest normal price after that. But be careful. There may be special rules that mean you have to pay extra money. For example, if you use extra gas or electricity. 5

6 You can also look at the ways to pay for your gas and electricity. There may be better ways for you. Here are some of the ways to pay. Pay as you go meter. You don t have bills. You pay for your gas and electricity as you go. Paying your bills by cash, cheque or card Paying a bit every week or month at places like the Post Office, newsagents or supermarkets. Direct Debit Direct Debit This is when the money for your bills comes straight out of your bank account. You pay the same amount each time. If you need help, you can call Citizens Advice on

7 Money and help you can get Help if you cannot pay your bills Your gas or electricity company should help if you do not have enough money for your bills. Talk to them to sort out a way to pay your bills. For example, you could pay a bit at a time. Or there may be benefits you can get. For advice you can phone the Home Heat Helpline on Or from a mobile. Or in Scotland you can call Home Energy Scotland on If you use a pay as you go meter you can still change company if you owe up to 500. Sometimes you can save money by changing to a different company. 7

8 Money for your electricity bill You may be able to get 140 off your electricity bill if you are older or get some benefits. This money is called the Warm Home Discount. Ask your electricity company about it. Check that you will still get this money if you change your electricity company. Money for your heating bills Some older people can get money to help pay their heating bills in winter. This money is called the Winter Fuel Payment. This money may be paid straight to you if you get some benefits. If not, call to find out if you can get it. 8

9 Extra money if it is very cold If it gets very cold in winter for a week or more you may get some extra money. This money is called Cold Weather Payments. You can get this money if you get some benefits. If you are disabled, older, very ill or find it hard to see or hear Ask your gas or electricity company if you can be put on their Priority Services Register. This is some extra support you can get, like: a free check to make sure the gas in your home is safe sending your bills to someone you know who can help you pay them bills that are easier to understand, like in large writing 9

10 Help to make your home better There are ways to make your home warmer and save money on your bills. For example, insulation. This is something that goes in your roof or walls to keep heat in double glazing for your windows a new boiler Sometimes you can get free insulation or help to change your home. To get advice about this: speak to your gas or electricity company visit your local Citizens Advice Bureau Or in England and Wales call the Energy Saving Advice Service on Or in Scotland call Home Energy Scotland on

11 Things you can do at home Here are some ideas to save money on your bills. 1. Put the heating and hot water on only when you need it. 2. Close your curtains at night. This can help keep the heat inside your home. 3. Always turn the lights off when you leave the room. 4. Only charge your phone or laptop when you need to. And turn off your TV properly when you are not watching it. 5. Only boil as much water as you need to. 11

12 Words you may need to know Word Energy What it means This is another word for gas and electricity. Your energy bills are your gas or electricity bills. Tariff This is how much you pay for your gas or electricity. There are different tariffs. Some may be cheaper or more expensive than the one you pay. Dual Fuel This is when you get your gas and electricity from the same company. Fixed price This is when your gas and electricity stays the same price for a certain amount of time. Switch suppliers This is when you change your gas or electricity company. Benefits This is money the government pay to some people. Some examples are Income Support or Personal Independence Payment (PIP). Most pictures by Photosymbols 12

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