With energy prices constantly on the rise, you may be looking for ways to bring down the cost of your home energy bills. Changing lightbulbs to LED bulbs and switching off appliances may help reduce your electricity bill, but what about your gas costs? These 10 practical tips are simple ways to reduce your gas bills, and you can get started today and start to see savings from your next bill.
Ensure you are in the know when it comes to your last few bills, how many units on average you use, what rate you are being charged, and then you can be proactive with the changes you are making.
How to Reduce Gas Bills
If you use gas for heating and/or cooking, and the energy bills you are receiving are making you wince at the costs, then you’ll be looking for ways to save on your gas bill.
Here are some top tips and simple suggestions for how to reduce gas bills.
#1. Make Sure You Service Your Boiler
Having your gas boiler serviced every year is a simple win because an annual service will make sure that your boiler is operating as efficiently as it can be.
Having a regular service can prevent soot from building up, enabling the boiler to run smoothly, reducing your gas consumption, as well as improving your carbon footprint.
If you are considering switching gas suppliers check and see if their switching package includes an annual gas boiler service for free. Or some suppliers even offer a new boiler as part of moving to them, so it’s worth shopping around.
#2. Look at Changing Suppliers
Before you get started with this, look up what your current gas supplier plan costs you per kWh. This will be on your last bill. You will need to this to compare and look at other suppliers/discounts you could avail of.
Don’t automatically stay with the same provider, make sure to check every available supplier’s rates at least at the time when your contract is up (but sometimes worth checking well before end of contract too).
Never assume you are on the best rate with your own supplier. Remember it costs them money to acquire a new customer so don’t be afraid to ask them to match their new customer rates to keep you.
And even though it may cost a fee to break a contract before its end date, you should also calculate if it would be worth paying the fee if you would save more on a new supplier’s cheaper rates.
To check in on latest offers and rates, use a switcher website. Most switcher websites offer calculators so you can put in details of your home and usage and they will recommend the best rate.
Some also offer to talk to you to work out the best rate, and be aware too that you may well be on the best rate at the moment. But at least having done your research you know you can’t save any more in that case.
Top tip: keep a spreadsheet of your last 12 months bills – how much gas (and electricity) your household used each month in kwh – as this will help you work out more easily what your usage is likely to be across a year for switching.
#3. Time the Heating
Make sure you only have the heating on when and where you really need it at that time of day.
While nobody wants to get up in a cold house (I’m remembering my childhood!) do you really need to heat upstairs when everybody is getting up getting dressed and heading downstairs anyway?
If you have heating zones on a timer, then only run upstairs heating before bedtime to avoid using extra gas if nobody is upstairs. If you don’t have a separated heating zone system in your house it could be worth putting that in, we did this a few years ago and got a grant towards it as well.
Check your timer settings and see when you think you really need it on, to reduce the time the heat is on unnecessarily.
And turn off any heating in unoccupied rooms as well – no point heating them if you are not using them!
#4. Lower the Thermostat
Most home gas consumption (80% or so) is heating, and in particularly during colder months. So a really simple way to reduce your gas bills is to look at your thermostat.
Try turning it down by one degree to start with. Turning your heating down by just one degree has been estimated to cut your gas consumption by 7%. So if you can go lower and still be comfortable, then go further if you can. Your home should still be comfortable even at 19C.
#5. Consider Bill Pay
It may be tempting to go for prepay gas supply as it can help control your usage and eliminate bills, however you should be aware that you may be paying a premium. You will need to check the tariffs to see what you are paying vs bill pay.
Opting for Bill Pay, Online Billing and Direct Debit can all save you money on your gas bills.
Again knowing what kWh rate you are on currently, what your usage is and what discounts you would get by switching to these options is going to make it easier to decide.
#6. Be Consistent with Submitting Meter Readings
If you don’t submit regular meter readings, then your gas company will estimate your usage and you could end up with higher bills.
Always submit when requested and interim reads are good to submit too. Sign up for their alerts by SMS and email to remind you to do your meter reads.
(If you have a smart meter then you don’t need to do this).
Family budgeting can be tricky at the best of times. Take our 52 Week Savings Challenge so you can gradually put away some cash to help with unexpected expenses!
#7. Careful Cooking
If you use gas for cooking, then think about ways to reduce gas use there:
- Instead of your gas oven, consider using your microwave or air fryer. Veggies will steam more quickly and efficiently and your air fryer will cook more efficiently than hob or oven frying.
- Slow cookers can be really efficient compared to using ovens, so if you have one press it into action.
- Always match your pan size to your burner size on the hob
- Cover your food when it’s cooking to keep heat in
- Try to do one pan cooking where possible, e.g. this one pot pasta recipe or making a dinner casserole in one dish or a tray bake chicken type recipe where you throw all the ingredients in and only use one source of cooking heat.
#8. Look at Your Water Usage
About 20% of your gas bill will go towards heating water. Be mindful of when and how you use hot water. For example, showers rather than baths help to use less hot water.
If you have a hot water timer, be canny with how long you have your hot water set to switch on for, and turn the boiler off unless hot water is needed.
#9. Consider a Boiler Upgrade
While a new boiler can be expensive, they are also a good investment if your boiler is over 12-15 years old, you could end up cutting your bills by a lot.
New A-rated boilers (any boiler with over 90% efficiency) can give you significantly more heat for your money compared to older boilers. And replacing your boiler is also more eco-friendly as a more efficient boiler will use less fuel to heat your house and reduce your carbon footprint.
It’s worth seeing if there are any government grants available to help at least part-fund this cost. Or if a new energy supplier is offering a free new boiler as part of switching to them.
Last but certainly not least, draught-proofing is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to save energy and your gas bills. If you have unwanted gaps that are letting cold air in and warm air out, then it’s time to stop up the gaps. By doing this you may then be able to turn down your thermostat, as well as further saving money on your gas bill.
- Get the kids involved and go round the whole house and check for drafts.
- Seal any gaps in windows, doors, walls and floors. Many inexpensive solutions are available at your local DIY store.
- Hang thermal curtains & blinds if your windows or doorways currently are draughty.
- Close your curtains in the evening to keep the heat in.
- Draught excluders can sit along the gap at the bottom of doors, you can use old tights stuffed with old clothing if you don’t have the money to invest in buying new ones.
- Cover letterbox with draught proof flaps and your keyhole, you can get metal covers that screw to the outside of your keyhole and stop the wind coming in.
- Don’t forget about your loft entrance, if it’s letting cold air in, then insulating it may save a lot of heat escaping there.