How to save money UK: 5 things you can do if you can’t afford energy bill price hikes

Martin Lewis outlines rise in average UK household energy bills

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Two high profile campaign groups have been encouraging people to protest against price rises. Don’t Pay UK is advising everyone to stop paying their energy bills while another group called Enough is Enough, is organising rallies. Both are hoping their campaigning will push the Government to do more. In the meantime, there are five practical things people can do if they can’t afford to pay their bills.

It’s been another tough week for people’s finances as forecasters predict the price cap could exceed £5,000 in the first half of 2023.

The energy price cap has already risen from £1,277 to £1,971 putting many Britons in financial difficulties.

Experts are advising against not paying bills and encouraging people to take other steps to make savings instead.

Earlier this week energy expert Myles Robinson from Boiler Central urged people to contact their energy provider in the first instance and ask them to set up a payment plan if they can’t afford to pay these sky high bills.

Five things to do if you can’t afford to pay bills:

Talk to your energy supplier if they have increased the direct debit and ask how they have worked it out

Ask if the direct debit can be reduced – but be aware it could lead to a bigger bill later

Consider setting up a standing order instead but check the terms and conditions

Citizens Advice has a list of the energy suppliers who have hardship funds where financial help may be available

Local councils have a £1billion Household Support fund – contact them and ask for help

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People may also be able to ask for help via the Fuel Direct Scheme.

Britons will need to be claiming certain benefits to be eligible for this help.

This includes Income Support, Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit or Pension Credit.

Once autumn and winter draw in, people can turn the heating by one degree which should save them around £80 a year.

Two steps that people may not have taken could save almost £1,000 a year. 

Another way people can save a further £480 a year is by swapping their oven for a slow cooker.

Research shows this could save the typical family £40 a month because it uses much less energy even though they are left on for longer.

GoCompare Energy asked people what they are doing to save money on their bills:

  • Turning off lights when they leave the room – 64 percent
  • Turning off appliances when they’re not being used or in standby mode – 54 percent
  • Not filling the kettle to the top – 45 percent
  • Washing clothes on a lower heat setting – 39 percent
  • Taking shorter showers – 36 percent
  • Changing light bulbs to LED bulbs – 28 percent
  • No longer using the tumble dryer – 24 percent
  • Making the house more energy efficient – 19 percent
  • Going to bed earlier – 18 percent
  • Using the slow cooker instead of the oven – 17 percent.

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