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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?

If you've received a higher energy bill than you expected, it may be due to various reasons. Some of the possible causes include the bill being based on estimated energy use instead of actual usage, insufficient insulation, a sudden cold spell, having recently moved into a new home, and other factors. In this article, we will discuss the primary reasons behind high energy bills and how you can avoid them in the future. Additionally, we will provide some guidance on how we can assist you 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 many 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

Having control over your energy consumption is easier than ever with a smart meter and our free Energy Hub(1). Keep a close eye on your usage patterns, reduce your carbon footprint and possibly save on your bills.

Book your installation now

Already have a smart meter? Sign up to Energy Hub

EDF smart meter energy hub home screen

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-normal bill.(2)

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.

In 2022, the government also introduced additional cost of living support if you're eligible

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

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 directly out of your benefits over time.

Extra support through the Help for Households Support - See what support is available to help with the cost of living and save money.

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 and 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 £870 per year on bills(3)

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