Five Top Tips to Reduce your Bills

Bills

Five Top Tips to Reduce your Bills

Over the next couple of months, you’ll be moving into your new student property with your closest friends, ready for a year of fun-filled, harmonious living. Of course, excitement aside, there are more practical things that need to be considered too – like bills, for instance. Split between a few of you, they are considerably cheaper, but if you find you’re still struggling, there will be ways in which you can reduce your usage, in turn making payments cheaper.

One

Shop Around


Upon moving in, you’ll probably find that you’ve already gotten a gas and electricity provider and a water supplier, who the previous tenants will have used. Give them a call to get a quote on payments based on the number of tenants. If you think this seems a little steep, get in touch with your landlord or letting agency to see if you can have a look around to see what other providers can offer. Your landlord will probably be OK with this, and if you find someone cheaper, you’ll have cut your bills down right from day one!

Two

Provide Regular Meter Readings


If you feel you are being charged more than what you’re using, send off your meter readings to your energy provider. If your readings are consistently lower, they’ll probably reduce your bill to match in line with what you are using. But don’t worry if they don’t, as any credit in your account at the end will be refunded back to you.

Three

Small Changes that can make a Big Difference to your Bills:


  • Switch off lights when they’re not needed – if you and your housemates are all sitting in the living room, there’s no need to keep the light in the hallway switched on. Forgetting to switch a light off, although won’t cost you a fortune, will be racking up the bill slowly.
  • Switch off anything that isn’t needed – don’t leave your TV on standby, your toaster, or your kettle on unless it is in use. If you’re using something that’s very draining on electricity such as straighteners or a hair dryer, make sure you switch them off straight away once you’ve finished using them too.
  • Take shorter showers – if your bills are going way over, limit your showers to 5 minutes (10 if you need to wash your hair!). If you have a bath in your property, avoid temptation and shower instead – a 20 minute shower still uses less water than a bath (not that that’s an excuse to shower for that long!)
  • Check when your energy is cheaper – a lot of energy providers will have cheaper times to use energy. So if your water is cheaper from 10.30pm-6am, then do your laundry at night time, and let it dry overnight.

Four

Heating Costs


One thing to bear in mind, is your energy bills will obviously be higher in winter than summer. DO NOT think the solution is to turn your heating off – this could cause your pipes to freeze, which could then explode when you eventually turn the heating back on. The bill – understandably – will be way higher than your usage costs you were trying to cut down. To use your heating sensibly so that you don’t suffer from hyperthermia indoors, time your heating for first thing in the morning ready for you all waking up (e.g. 6am-8am), and then when you’re getting ready for bed (e.g. 9pm-11pm). You can also retain heat with really simple solutions such as not opening any windows (if you want a draft, open an internal door instead), or leaving your oven open once you’ve finished cooking.

Five

Ensure all Housemates Stick to these Rules


There is nothing more annoying than when you’re strictly sticking to the rules, and one of your housemates is taking baths every day, and leaving their bedroom light on when they’re not even in the room. All of that extra usage will just cancel out your hard work! Call a house meeting to confirm that you will all try to cut down the cost of bills, and then draw up a list (like the one above) of rules to stick to. It may be a little difficult at first adhering to them, especially as it’s likely you’ve never had to think twice when you were living at home, but after a couple of months, it will become a lot easier. Plus, it’s nice to know that your bank balance will be looking significantly healthier at the end of the academic year!

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