Five frugal tips for energy and utility bills this autumn

Don't worry, we're not about to tell you to cook your breakfast on your car engine to save money.
Cooking eggs on a car engine

Yes, someone really does do that according to BuzzFeed.

Instead, we're sharing 5 of the easiest ways to reduce the price of your energy bill. With the Bank of England predicting inflation to hit 11% this Autumn, cutting costs is at the front of many people's minds.

Even if you're a high-flying earner, don't neglect being frugal. Money saved is money earned, and money earned is something learned. Many wealthy people remain frugal, then invest as much money as possible back into their business or portfolios. Just ask Graham Stephan.

1. Take from the government, legally

Many people don't know the following schemes exist. Take a look at Ofcom’s clear and concise explanation of schemes and see if one applies to you. Cold weather payments, warm home discounts and child winter heating assistance are just some examples.

The £400 energy bill discount is a hot topic in the news at the moment. Here's what you need to know.

  • This scheme starts in October and will be paid over 6 months.

  • It works out as a £66 discount in October and November, rising to £67 from December to March 2023.

  • You'll never be asked for bank details – be wary of scams.

  • All customers are automatically eligible. You won't need to do anything.


So how will I be paid? 👀

  • Direct debit customers – receive the reduction on the monthly direct debit or as a refund to the customer's bank account

  • Standard credit customers and payment card customers discount automatically applied in the first week of each month of delivery

  • Smart prepayment meter customers – discount is credited directly to customers' smart prepayment meters in the first week of each month of delivery

  • Traditional prepayment meter customers – text, email or vouchers in the post. These will then be applied at the customer's local Post Office or PayPoint.

2. Be smart and get a smart meter

First off, they're free. Who doesn't love free things?

Smart meters let you view your energy consumption. Place it in a prominent area within your home, and you'll quickly see how the price racks up. Once you see this, your mind will naturally start cutting back on things you don't need to do.

Boiling the kettle less, quicker showers and thermostat levels – yep, you're in for a treat.

Submitting your meter readings also means you're not out of pocket to the energy companies. You're paying for your exact usage, not an estimated amount.

3. Insulate 'till late

  • Draught excluders – I swear everyone has that one annoying area in their home that's so cold? I guarantee that it's due to a door letting cold air flow through. Get a decorative draught excluder, and you will notice a difference.

  • Timers on central heating - if you're out during set parts of the day, set a timer! You'll never forget to leave it on again.

  • Don't block the radiator - have you got a sofa in front of the radiator? Move it back and let the heat fill the room.

4. Be savvy with exercise

Amy working out

Among the masses of benefits exercising has, there are also a few sneaky tricks you can do, depending on your situation.

If you’re a member of a gym, try going at the same times each week. Then, ensure your timed central heating switches off during this time. What extra motivation do you need for going to the gym than that, eh? You’re basically saving money going to the gym!

Don't just use their equipment, use their showers too. Doing this three times a week will save a lot of energy and water. Simply remember to pack your towel and an extra set of clothes in your gym bag and you're set.

If money is a little tighter, consider scrapping your gym membership altogether. Get the heating off and workout at home. Again, use cold as your motivation! (Perhaps I’ve been watching too much Wim Hof recently). There are plenty of exercises that can be done on a gym mat.

True story – I actually double up my gym mat as my draught excluder. Remind me to pop onto Amazon after this and buy an actual draught excluder.

5. Capitalise on your kitchen

Thanks to cooking appliances, the kitchen is the warmest room in the house. 

You'd be amazed what simply propping open an oven will do after cooking a meal. Granted, your kitchen may leave a smell of food, but it's a trade worth making for the added heat. If you're a whizz in the kitchen, why wouldn't you want it smelling of your finest carbonara?

Consider spending a little more time in this room and see how you get on.

There you have it - from government schemes, to warm carbonaras and gym matt draught excluders, there's a few things to help make your money go a little further this Autumn.

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Meet the authors

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James Ashoo

Senior Content Writer

James has been investing for over five years. His aim is to explain the hard stuff, easily! When he's not chewing your ear off about stocks and crypto, he'll most likely be telling bad jokes.

Harjas Singh

Harjas Singh

Chief Product Officer & Co-Founder

With a wealth of experience in fintech, Harjas is the man in the know when it comes to all things product. Investing features, chatting capabilities and thriving communities – he oversees all development on the Shares app!

Harry Harrison

Harry Harrison

Finance Writer

Harry is an experienced business writer, with a love for all things tech. In his free time, he enjoys reading, playing sport and winning at chess. He also loves posting inside the Shares app!