High electricity and gas bills - how you can reduce them

Find out how to reduce high electricity and gas bills with these easy steps

Why is my electricity or gas bill so high?

There is a number of reasons as to why your energy bill is higher than you expected. These could include the bill being based on an estimated rather than actual energy use, inadequate insulation, a cold spell, having just moved to a new home and lots more. Here we take you through the main causes of high energy bills and what you can do to avoid them in the future and how we can help you now if you're struggling to pay your bill.

Find out the main reasons your bill can increase

Is my energy bill accurate?

If your bill’s based on estimated reading it might not accurately reflect your energy use. So first of all, check to see if your bill has been estimated.

If the answer’s yes, check your meter. If you can see a lower number than the figure on your bill, get in touch with your supplier. With a more accurate reading, they may well re-issue (and possibly reduce) your bill.

If your energy use has dropped because of an unseasonably warm spell or if you’ve moved into a new property, an estimated bill might not reflect your energy use accurately.

Am I on the right tariff?

It may surprise you to learn that a lot of UK homes overpay on their energy bills simply because they aren’t on a competitive tariff.

Unfortunately at the moment due to the energy crisis, it is difficult to find a competitive deal anywhere. 

Want us to alert you when energy prices go down? Sign up for our price alert emails, and we'll let you know when this happens.  

Do smart meters save money?

Join our customers who are cutting their usage and bills

It's important now, more than ever, to stay in control of your energy. With a smart meter and our free Energy Hub, you'll easily be able to track your energy usage and see where you can save so that you can lower your bills and your carbon footprint.

Smart benefits include:

  • Upgrade your meter at no extra cost
  • Receive more accurate bills, keep in control and view the cost of your energy
  • Get a better idea of where you use energy in your home with Energy Hub(1) 
  • Save up to £82 with our free Energy Hub platform(2). Smart meter required

Have I used more energy this winter?

If we've had a particularly harsh winter, your heating bill might be higher than average. With heating and hot water accounting for over half of the UK’s energy costs, a cold snap can leave you with a larger than the normal bill to pay.(3)

This year due to the energy crisis the government introduced the Energy Bills Support Scheme. This £400 energy bills discount has been set up to help households across Great Britain as energy bills continue to rise. 

If you're of pensionable age, disabled, have severe health problems or are on a low income, you may be entitled to extra help during the winter. We've listed the other government schemes and benefits below.

This year there is also the additional cost of living support too if you're eligible. Find out more 

 

Other government support available for customers who need extra help

You may be eligible for certain grants and benefits if you:

  • have reached state pension age
  • have a disability
  • have no income or a low income
  • have missed payments to your energy supplier


Extra help with energy costs during the winter months

Cold Weather payment - Provides extra support for those who need it when the average temperature in your area you live in is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees celsius or below over seven consecutive days. You’ll get £25 for each 7-day period of very cold weather between 1 November and 31 March.

Winter Fuel Payment -  If you were born on or before 26 September 1956, you could get between £250 and £600 to help you pay your heating bills. This is a one-off annual payment that gets made automatically if you're eligible. 

Helping to keep out of debt

Third-party deductions or fuel direct payments - If you receive certain benefits, you can pay your energy bills or debt over time directly out of your benefits.

Extra support through the Household Support Fund - The government launched a £500m support fund in October 2021. Local councils were awarded extra funding to help customers through the winter. Anyone needing support should contact their local council who can help them access the fund. Read more about the funding and how it works.

You may be eligible for some additional cost of living support from the government.

How to save energy in the summer

During the warmer summer months we naturally use less electricity – we keep the heating off, showers cool and don't need the lights on for as long. However, there are still ways you can reduce your electricity bill and save even more in summer. Find out some of our top tips for saving energy during the summer

Is my home properly insulated?

One of the most common reasons for high energy bills is poor insulation. The better your insulation, the more value you get for every unit of heat you use. Read more about insulating your home properly, guiding you through the various types of insulation available as well as the government subsidies available to help with your insulation costs.

We're working with trusted suppliers to get homes across Britain properly insulated. Even if you're home is insulated it may not be up to the current standard.

Here are the savings insulation can save you on your bills each year:

  • Cavity wall and loft insulation together can save you up to £1,060 per year on bills(4)
  • Solid wall insulation installed can save you up to £650 per year on bills(5)


Get insulated
 

Am I heating my home efficiently?

Natural gas is by far the most popular heating fuel in the UK and when used with a modern condensing boiler, one of the most affordable. Read our blog on gas vs electric heating.

You can find out more about the most efficient ways to heat your home

Is my heating system programmed properly?

According to the Energy Saving Trust, turning down your thermostat by just one degree can result in a saving to the average household of up to £90 per year. In addition to this simple change, you can also take control of the timing and zoning of your heating. Your rooms don’t need to be heated if you’re not using them so if you’re asleep, out of the house, or not using certain rooms, you can save money by switching off your heating.

Is a new gadget or appliance adding to my bill?

A new appliance like a heater or tumble drier can bump up your energy bill but our love of gadgets will also have an effect. The graph below shows that while some items like cookers and washing machines have become more energy efficient over the years, ‘consumer’ electronics such as game consoles, home computers etc. are a growing part of our energy use.

Still need help?

If your bill is accurate but you’re still unhappy or worried about how you can pay your bill we have advice if you're struggling to pay your energy bill