Friday, 25 November 2011

Ten money-saving tips for winter

1. It's NOT cheaper to leave heating on all day. The Energy Saving Trust says it's better to switch on for just an hour before you wake up and arrive home.

2. Anyone can get £300 of cavity wall and loft insulation FREE. This can cut your energy bill by £200 a year. EDF and Tesco Home Efficiency are offering the freebie even if you are not their customer, so long as you have a suitable home. British Gas also have a similar deal for their customers.

3. Find your stopcock and check how to turn it off. Damage from water when burst frozen pipes thaw can cost £25,000. If you go away, drain the water system or leave the heating on a little each day.

4. Switch your gas and electricity tariffs. It's the perfect time to shop around and you could even offset the past year's hikes. Switching takes up to six weeks, so act now. Use a comparison site approved by Or go to for a top deal PLUS £30 cashback.

5. Claim your winter fuel payments. Households with someone born before January 6, 1951, are entitled to up to £200 tax-free (£300 for the over-80s). If you have never claimed before, register on 0845 915 1515.

6. Pre-payment meter users can save too. Ask to convert to a "credit meter", where you are billed. It works out cheaper. Some providers do this for free.
If not, or it's unaffordable, you can compare and switch tariffs and, when switching, see if your new supplier will let you switch to a credit meter for free. See

7. Slash £100 a year off your boiler insurance. Don't always stay with your energy provider's cover, see comparison sites, and — and check out those missed, including Npower's Hometeam 50 and Eon.

8. Chuck on another jumper. It's cheaper than turning up the heat — even adding just one degree can cost £60 a year. Full draught-proofing also helps, saving about £55 a year.

9. A monthly direct debit can save £100 a year. But do regular meter readings to keep your payment accurate.

10. Switch your nan's tariff! Many elderly people overpay. With their consent, sit down and compare prices for them — it could save them hundreds a year

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