Monday, 26 January 2009

5 WAYS TO CUT YOUR WINTER FUEL BILLS

1. Make sure you are claiming all the benefits you are entitled to - once you are over 60 years old (or are on ther benefits) there may be quite a few grants or cash payments you can claim. The Warm Front scheme can give grants of up to £4000 (if you need central heating) for heating and insulation. And you can find out HERE, by answering a few simple questions,whether there are any other benfits you should be claiming.

2. Make sure you are paying for your gas and electricity by direct debit as it's a little cheaper this way BUT, do make sure you are not constantly in credit in your account. This happens when your supplier puts up your monthly payment and you don't use the amount of fuel expected - and they do this automatically - they only have to inform you of it on your statement. If they owe you money, phone them and ask for the amount to be credited back to your account and/or for your direct debit to be reduced. See my previous post on the utility companies.You may have to be persistent! It is estimated that our utilities currently have millions of pounds of our money sitting in their bank accounts - in effect, we are loaning them interest free money - which we can ill afford.

3. You may be able to save money by switching your provider, but timing is everything here, if you try to switch when there are rounds of price increases going on, you may just be switching to a provider that hasn't yet raised their prices! Check the Social Tarrifs that your current providers offer - they don't seem to advertise this service very much - I wonder why! You may qualify for a discount - check it out on the Energy Choices website - they explain all the social tarrifs for each provider.

4.Insulate your loft and your walls - again, check HERE to see what help you can get with the costs.

5.Use heavy "winter" curtains and draw them at dusk - or sooner if it's very cold! Make sure they can be tucked down the back of any radiators that are under windows. Use thermal curtain linings if you have them.

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