Utility bills include things like gas, electricity and water. They are things that we all use and pay for but they can be really expensive and some of us find them difficult to pay for. There are things that you can do to make it easier to afford them though.
- Switch suppliers – one of the easiest things that you may be able to do to reduce how much you are paying is to switch suppliers. They all vary in how much they charge and so it could be worth changing to another one. With water, it is unlikely that you will be able to change supplier, but for gas and electricity you are likely to be able to change. You might be in a contract with them for a fixed term, but sometimes you can still get out of these if you pay a small fee, which could be worth doing. Compare some prices and you will get an idea as to whether you could save money. Using a comparison website can be an easy way to do this. You will be able to enter the details of how much power you use and it will come back with an estimated cost that you will be able to compare to what you are paying. Of course, costs can change and some people like to get a fixed rate deal to protect them against the risk of rising costs, although it is hard to predict whether they will rise or not.
Although using a comparison website is a good way for you to find out whether you are paying more than necessary for your utilities, it may not be the best way to choose the cheapest company. This is because you may find that there are some companies that are not on those websites. Therefore, you may need to do a bit of investigation yourself as well.
Some people get worried about switching companies, especially if they have been with one for a long time. But the service you get will be pretty much the same, with your supply not being interrupted and you will still get gas or electricity as you need it. The main difference between suppliers apart from the price will be their customer service and you will need to decide whether that is important to you. If it is then it is wise to read some reviews or contact the companies to see for yourself what the customer service is like.
- Switch deal– if you do not want to switch suppliers then it could be wise to take a look at the deals that your current supplier has and see whether there is one that will suit you better than what you are currently on. If you do not want to search through their website then a quick call could help you. The customer service department should be able to talk you through all of their current deals so that you can choose one that you think will be best for you.
- Use less – another way to save money is to use less. If you are metered with water then using less will help but if you are not then switching to a meter may help. This will depend on how much water you use and there are calculators online where you can work out whether you are likely to pay more or less with a meter so it could be worth having a go. If you are not metered and use a lot of water then using less is unlikely to have a direct impact on your bill, although if everyone used less then bills could come down in theory.
It is easier with gas and electric as everyone pays for the amount that they use and so using less will reduce bills. Turning down heating is the thing that most people think of first and if you do make sure you only use it when necessary this could help. However, all things you cut down on could help so not using lights so much, turning off appliances when not in use and unplugging things when they do not need to be used can all help. Getting a smart meter can be useful as you will be able to see how much electricity and gas you are using and you will be able to see what uses the most. You will find that items such as the tumble dryer and oven use a lot and so choosing to use a clothes airer or grill and frying items could cut down how much you use. You may even find that leaving things switched on uses more power than you thought and it could motivate you to remember to switch things off to save yourself money.