save money on energy billsLooking for ways to trim the fat on your energy bills so you can save yourself a chunk of dosh? Here are eight ideas to cut your annual energy costs by up to £185, so you can live just that little bit extra.

Play the field

No, not dating – but scouting out a cracking deal to take the pressure off your purse strings.

Despite the totally exotic ‘summer’ this year (the amount of rain that fell in July this year should have been illegal), you should still be checking out all the comparison sites out there. With the sheer amount of help out there, never has there been a better time to surf the net and strike the best deal.

Embrace the savvy smart meter

The smart meter – dubbed the next generation of energy meter – is a replacement of existing measures that automatically sends energy readings to your energy supplier and gives you real-time feedback on your energy usage and what it is costing.

A government-backed scheme to introduce the eco friendly tool into 50 million buildings across the nation by 2020 is currently being rolled out. With the ability to accurately measure energy usage, the average household will save between £20 and £30 a year by using the eco-friendly tool; meaning no surprise bills (and less budget headaches).

Add a new layer

Ever wondered how much warm air is escaping your home? Whether through gaps between internal and external walls or through your roof, it can be causing a huge amount of wastage. You can save more than £100 per year by filling such gaps and rafters with mineral wool or foam.

Don’t leave appliances on standby

The age-old slice of wisdom has been bounced around time and time again. But it is true. You can save around £30 a year by remembering to take your sea of appliances out of standby mode. Be careful, though: a number of satellite and digital TV recorders often need to be left plugged in when taping your favourite programmes (we don’t want you to miss your double dose of Corrie).

Banish draughts

Old houses tend to lose a lot of heat through draughts around windows, doors, chimneys and floors. So keep the heat in by draught-proofing your home, block cracks in your floors and skirting boards and buy draught excluders to sit snug against doors, saving yourself up to £35 a year.

Get onboard with energy efficient appliances

You may have heard of energy efficient lightbulbs, but what about an energy efficient kettle? Or tumble dryer? There is quite a range of products now available with an A+++ rating, using less energy than standard models, in a manner of different ways.

Switch to direct debits

Save yourself up to £90 a year on your energy bill. How? Switch to fixed monthly direct debit payments. According to moneysavingexpert.com, it’s usually 6% cheaper than any other way of paying. Paying a fixed estimate each month not only makes it easier to budget, it spreads the cost out throughout the year (goodbye hideous winter bill).

Treat yourself to a new boiler

A brand spanking new boiler, replacing an old G-rated gas boiler and built to be energy efficient, can save you an astonishing £340 a year. It isn’t a cheap investment by any means (a new condensing model with a programmer can cost up to £2,500) but in the long run, it can save you a fortune.