The cold snap has here again! We all know that a cold winter means big bills in the new year, so what can you do to minimise the impact and save some Money?

1. Replacing your boiler can save Money

Boilers contribute up to 55% towards your annual energy bills*, so it’s worth looking in to whether you could benefit from a new boiler. Modern boilers work more efficiently by heating quicker while preserving energy.

2. Turn down your thermostat

By turning your thermostat down by 1 degree, closing your curtains, shutting doors and using draft excluders you can contain the heat and keep warm.

3. Use a radiator booster

You can maximise the efficiency of your heating by placing a radiator booster on top. It effectively sucks up the heat lost from behind your radiator and pushes it around the room! Used in the correct way, you can reduce your thermostat by 1 – 3 degrees and make a cost saving of over £100 a year.

4. Get the blankets out!

This might seem like a really obvious one, but rather than setting your heating to maximum, why not get cosy on the sofa with your favourite blanket? You can drop the temperature by a couple of degrees and be snug at the same time!

5. Washing your clothes

If you are buying a new washing machine look out for the Energy Saving Trust Recommended logo. These machines will be far more efficient and cheaper to run.

Wash your clothes at 30 degrees. Most detergents work effectively at a lower temperature and by cleaning at 30 degrees you are using approximately 40% less energy than higher temperatures*.

You can also save on your bill by only washing a full load and not using a tumble dryer. Use a clothes airer instead and speed up drying time by placing the airer in a room where you have the heating on.

6. Shut the doors

Do you have rooms that you don’t normally use? If so – close the doors and use draft excluders. There’s no point in wasting energy in rooms that don’t need it.

7. Water

A leaking hot water tap uses up more energy then you think (and can waste more than 5,500 litres of water a year), make sure that you check all of your taps an ensure that washers and taps are in a good condition. You can also make further savings by installing lower flow taps.

Take less baths – a standard bath fills around 80 litres of water, but taking a four minute shower (with a water-efficient showerhead) uses just 32 litres**.

8. Use energy efficient Christmas decorations

The most efficient way to light your home this Christmas is to use LED lights. They can cost a little more than standard Christmas lighting, but, they last much longer and use much less energy.

9. Insulation

Insulating your water tank is one of the best ways to conserve energy and save money; make sure that you insulate any visible pipes for further savings.

10. Kitchen savings

Always make sure that your dishwasher is full and on an energy saving setting before turning it on. Make sure that all food is scraped off plates, pans and utensils and that salt and rinse aid are topped up to ensure a thorough wash.

Turn off your taps! A running hot water tap wastes more than six litres of water a minute*.

You can also save money by only boiling the water you need when using the kettle and investing in energy efficient appliances when you can.

11. Upgrade your heater

Storage heaters are well known for wasting vast amounts of energy. You could install a new central heating system, but if that’s not possible you can upgrade your current system. You can install storage heaters which have better controls or fit thermostats to make your heating work more efficiently.

12. Service your boiler

Has it been more than a year since you serviced your boiler? If so you need to book a boiler service ASAP. A poorly functioning boiler can waste energy and money. It’s also vital that you service your boiler to ensure that it is safe.

13. Turn off your plugs

Leaving your electric appliances on standby can significantly contribute to a higher energy bill. Unplug and switch off your appliances to save between £50 – £90 a year*.

14. Replace your light bulbs

For the biggest savings invest in some LED or CFL bulbs. They use much less electricity and last for 15 – 20 years.

15. Switch suppliers

This winter has seen the majority of energy suppliers increase their rates. There is still time to change supplier and save some pennies. Visit U Switch to compare prices and see if you can save this winter.