Nine ways to keep energy bills down as households warned to warm main rooms in cold snap | The Sun

HOUSEHOLDS are being urged to heat their homes as temperatures are set to quickly fall below zero.

Health officials have issued a level three cold weather alert which will begin at 6pm today, December 7.

A level three alert means there could be an increased health risk to vulnerable people and affect delivery services or those that require transport.

The alert is expected to run until 9am on December 12.

As a result, and despite the cost of living rising, households are being urged to turn on their heating on to stay safe.

Living rooms should be heated during the day, while bedrooms should be heated just before going to sleep.

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With temperatures plunging as low as -1C, many will be worrying about the impact on their energy bills.

Energy bills were previously set to be frozen at £2,500 for the typical household for two years, but the Energy Price Guarantee will now increase yearly bills to £3,000 from April 2023.

Further cost of living payments and benefits increases were also announced during the Autumn Statement.

Living in such cold conditions could be dangerous for your body so make sure you're doing what you can to heat up.

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But if you're worried and want to cut costs, there are things you can do while keeping warm.

Here's what you can do:

1. Heat just the room you're in

Use your thermostat to monitor the temperatures of each room in your house and only turn the heating on in the room you're using or about to use (for example, your bedroom).

There's no point turning every radiator on if not all rooms are being used.

2. Keep the thermostat low

Rather than having the temperature on at a higher degree, keep it low as this can save you money.

This is because it reduces the amount of energy used and a few degrees could make a big difference – one degree lower could save you £100 a year.

3. Keep the flow temperature low

Different to altering your thermostat, the flow temperature handles how your boiler heats water up, before it goes to your radiators.

If you turn this down to roughly 60 degrees, you could save around £112 a year.

However, you must have a combi boiler to do this.

4. Keep doors shut and use a draught excluder

Keeping doors shut will keep the heat in, keeping you and your family warmer.

Using a draught excluder will help prevent heat from leaving as well as a draught from coming in.

5. Keep your windows and blinds closed

This will help to trap the heat, keeping you warmer for longer.

If you want to be extra cautious, you could bubble wrap your windows for extra protection.

The thicker our curtains are the more they'll stop heat from escaping, especially if you have drafty windows.

6. Fill in cracks

Any cracks you have on your floorboards should be filled in to prevent any heat from escaping.

Something small like this can make a big difference.

7. Bleed your radiators

It's something many of us probably don't enjoy doing, but trapped air in your radiators can stop the warm water from circulating properly.

If your radiator is cold at the top and warm at the bottom then it most likely needs bleeding.

All you need is a radiator key or screwdriver to do it.

8. Monitor usage

Keep an eye on what you're using – perhaps you don't need to have the heating on at a particular time, or maybe you accidentally set it to come on when you're out.

While we're all very aware of our energy use at the moment, we may have missed something that could help us save hundreds.

9. Unplug 'energy vampires'

These are devices that suck energy even when left just plugged in.

When not in use, completely switch them off and unplug them – they're just wasting energy and draining your wallet.

For example, turning a TV completely off at the mains could save you an extra £24 a year, while a microwave could save you £16 – these all make big differences.

Of course, it's worth noting that the savings mentioned above can vary depending on the appliances and energy use.

Make sure you check with a professional if you're able to first, before making any big changes.

How to get help

On top of the above, see if you're eligible for any of the support payments for households struggling to pay their energy bills – you might be surprised that you qualify.

For example, millions of households started receiving a £400 energy bill discount from October 1.

The payment will be dished out by your energy supplier and will be split across six discounts between October and March next year.

British Gas, EDF Energy, Ovo Energy and Scottish Power plan to send the cash directly into customer bank accounts.

The way you'll be paid will depend on how you pay for your energy.

Another option is the household support fund.

Local councils are giving out cash to help households struggling with bills and other essential costs.

How much you can get depends on where you live and in many areas.

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To qualify you'll usually need to be a recipient of council tax support.

See our guide on 10 ways to get help this winter for more financial support.

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