As the weather cools down over winter, many of us will be turning up the heating in our homes to stay warmer but this can also mean more expensive fuel bills. Fortunately there are also lots of ways that you can stay warm while keeping your fuel bills in check. Here are our 8 top tips to stay warm the smarter way this winter.

Check your energy tariff
Check that you’re on the cheapest gas and electricity tariff. Try our free tariff-switching site. Just put in your postcode and have your bill details handy to check how much you could save.

Warm Homes Discount
If you get a state pension or get certain benefits, you will be eligible for a one-off payment of £140 towards winter fuel bills. Call your electricity provider to ask about the Warm Homes Discount. You can find more information about the eligibility criteria and how to apply here.

Better Boilers scheme
If you’re a homeowner on benefits and your boiler is inefficient or broken, it could be replaced or repaired for free as part of the new Better Boilers scheme. To be eligible you must be a homeowner  in London, in receipt of qualifying benefits and have an inefficient or broken boiler. Find out more information here.

Use the heating programmer
The cheapest way to heat your home is to use your heating programmer properly. Set it to turn on 30 minutes before you wake up and turn off about 15 minutes before you leave home. Set it to turn on 30 minutes before you get home. Most homes don’t need the heating on while you sleep.

Set your radiators
It is very common to have radiator controls to set the heat in each room. We recommend:

  • bathrooms and living room: 5
  • kitchen and bedrooms: 3
  • empty rooms: frost setting [*]
  • hallways: 2

Set your thermostat
This determines the highest temperature in the rooms you want warmest. Most people find 19-21˚C warm enough.

Electric storage heaters
If you use electric storage heaters, only put them on charge during the Economy 7 hours which is usually between 1am and 8am. Only use the ‘boost’ button when you really need it.

Draught busting
Older windows and doors can let in draughts. Buy draught sealing strips and devices from a local DIY store and add thermal lining and interlining to your curtains.

For more information about how you can reduce your energy costs, read our latest issue of Connections or visit our Reduce energy costs page.