How to save big on energy costs – A Resolver Guide

10 min read
February 03, 2024

Every household in the UK has felt the pinch as energy suppliers have folded and prices have continued to rise, making energy costs the biggest problem in 2024. This winter, Resolver has been contacted by hundreds of people worried about their soaring monthly bills asking if there’s anything they can do with their energy supplier.

One route many households have looked into is switching their energy supplier or even trying to find a fixed rate energy tariff to beat the rising energy price cap. This is an important thing to consider, but there are others too, including support schemes and everyday energy saving habits. Here we give a breakdown of the current rules in the energy sector and some tips on keeping your costs to a minimum.

What is the energy price cap?

The Energy Price Cap has been put in place by Ofgem – The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets. Ofgem supports the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority and are the government regulator for the electricity and gas providers in Great Britain.

The level of the energy price cap is based on typical household energy use and reflects recent falls in wholesale energy prices. The price cap restricts the rates energy suppliers charge for their default tariffs for the average household in the UK. Standing charges and the price per kWh of gas and electricity are included in this cap, so it’s a cap on the individual unit, not on your total bill – this will still be priced as a result of the amount of energy your household uses. 

Between 1 January to 31 March 2024 the energy price cap is set at £1,928 a year for a typical household who use gas and electricity and pay by Direct Debit. You can read about typical household energy use and how the price cap is calculated on Ofgem’s Average gas and electricity usage page.

Can you get help paying your energy bills? 

In addition to the price cap, to prevent energy companies taking advantage of customers, some funding has been allocated to help anyone struggling to pay their energy costs.

If you fall into the eligible categories then you can rest easier knowing that there is help out there. Take a look at our article highlighting these great support funds and how to access them here. 

But since not everyone is eligible for these, and the energy tariffs and energy price cap are out of our control, what actions can we take to make our homes as energy saving as possible and lower our overall usage? 

How you can energy proof your home to reduce your energy costs

There are all kinds of practical ways to reduce energy costs by making yourself and your home more energy efficient:

Wrap it up

We’re not telling anyone that they should turn off their heating and put more layers on to keep warm (but do note turning your heating down by 1 degree could save you over £100 annually, so a jumper when it’s cooler isn’t the worst idea).

No, we’re talking about wrapping up your house. This can be by installing loft, floor or cavity wall insulation, and even down to wrapping hot water tanks and pipes running through your home. By insulating your property you can prevent up to 50% of your household heat escaping, that’s a dramatic saving of your energy usage and therefore your energy costs. Adequately insulating your home allows you to maintain an ambient temperature all year round, keeping it warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Seal it up

Sealing up your house from draughts is a quick and generally easy way to keep your home feeling warm and reducing heat escaping unnecessarily. This can be simply ensuring you draw curtains across windows and use draught excluders along the bottom of doors with bigger gaps. But take a note of other places to check for draughts such as, loft hatches, original floorboards, letterboxes, gaps where pipes and electrical cables come into your house.

You can pick up great draught excluding materials from most hardware shops at relatively low costs, that may make a real difference to your energy costs.

Get up to date

There are a multitude of potential energy wasting aspects of your home. While fixing them may require a cost larger upfront, in the long run they will make your home more energy efficient and reduce your annual energy costs significantly – plus most are better for the environment:

  • Windows and doors: Are your windows and doors double or triple glazed? Double glazed windows can provide up to 100% more thermal efficiency than single glazed windows.  
  • Boilers: Is your boiler overdue a service? Boiler efficiency is paramount to ensure your home heating system is at peak performance – an old inefficient boiler could be costing you hundreds of pounds per year! A replacement boiler could be a costly investment, however it may not even require a full heating system replacement to make your home more energy efficient – there are other upgrades to your heating system that don’t cost the Earth. Radiators can have thermostatic valves added to provide individual room temperatures (if you have a room in the house not currently being used, why heat it?). Installing a thermostatic programmer means that you can easily turn your heating on and off, up and down, and generally time your heating to be on at pivotal parts of the day, like getting up in the morning, arriving home from work.
  • Get the A+ appliances. If you happen to be needing or looking to replace any appliances in your home, make sure you look for the energy label. This rates appliances from A-G (A being the most energy efficient), aim for A+ and remember to buy appliances suitable for your needs.

Green means go!

Going green when it comes to our energy has been high on the priority list for a lot of households over the past few years. While many people are unsure where to start looking, or how much they should be paying to upgrade their home, there is a whole range of low carbon heating systems now available:

  • Solar panels: Now a firm favourite, there are nearly 1 million homes in the UK with solar panels installed. Solar panels can reduce your energy bills by up to 50%, and the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) will pay you for any energy you don’t use (but you must apply to be part of this scheme). Solar panels have also become more affordable in recent years and currently have a 0% VAT rate.
  • Air source heat pumps: These have had a huge take-up since the cost-of-living crisis began to bite. Heat pumps take heat from the air outside your home and transfer it into water to heat your home through radiators and underfloor heating.
  • Biomass boilers: These boilers use natural materials and non-fossil fuels (usually wood based pellets, chips or logs) and heat your home in a way that is very similar to a regular gas central heating system.
  • Ground source heat pumps: Using heat sourced from the ground outside your home, ground source heat pumps and can heat radiators and underfloor heating. If you have a hot water cylinder ground source heat pumps can also heat the water stored in this for your home’s hot water.

There are currently no grant schemes in place for installing solar panels, however the UK Government is now running the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) which aims to help homeowners in England and Wales with the cost of purchasing and installing low carbon heating systems (air & ground heat source pumps and biomass boilers). The grant is up to £6000 and will be available until 2025.

Get smart with a smart meter

Many energy suppliers will install a smart meter in your home for free! This is a great tool for two reasons:

  1. It sends accurate and up to date meter readings to your energy supplier – no more over or under-estimated bills. Some people may enjoy receiving a letter after a meter reading stating that their account is in credit. But with ever increasing energy prices, these letters are likely to be a thing of the past, with extra invoices for your outstanding becoming more common.
  2. It allows you to see exactly how much energy you’re using on gas and electricity. This means that if you have overspent on your monthly budgets, you can make changes to ensure your home is being more energy efficient to reduce your energy costs. Leading us nicely onto…

Who turned out the lights? You did!

An easy win in the saving on energy costs race is switching off lights in rooms you’re not in! It’s this type of thinking that will see your energy usage on your smart meter keep nice and low.

Another win on energy saving is replacing your light bulbs with new LED light bulbs. This can save up to 85% of energy consumption. Plus LED light bulbs will last 10 times longer on average than a standard halogen bulb.

When it comes to turning things off, ensuring your appliances are fully turned off (not on standby with their little red light). This is a small but still significant way of saving – in the UK an average home spends around £55 per year powering appliances left on standby. So that’s £55 better in your bank than spent on an appliance you’re not even using.

Save Water – Save Money!

Living in the UK, we tend to take water for granted. But when approximately 20% of your gas bill goes on heating water it’s safe to say we need to give it some thought. There are, after all, many small changes you can make to your daily routine that will have an enormous impact when its time to pay your bill: 

Some easy ways to save water (and therefore energy and money) are:

  • Having showers instead of baths. This has been shown time and again to make a huge impact in terms of saving energy and money. It’s also worth trying to keep your shower to around 4-5 minutes – which will use 50% less water than a bath.
  • Turning off the tap. When brushing your teeth, washing your hands or doing the dishes, don’t keep the tap running – this uses around 9 litres of water per minute and will be even more costly if you’re running the hot water tap.
  • Toilet flushing. There are many toilet water saving ideas out there, including devices, home tricks and clever flushing systems such as a half flush.
  • Washing machines and dishwashers. Whne using either of these time saving devices make sure it’s a full load or else be prepared to spend the same amount on energy as you would for a full one. You can also use eco settings where possible to reduce your energy consumption.
  • In the garden. If you have the space to fit a water butt for collecting rain water, you could dramatically reduce the amount of service water used from a tap. And it’s even better for your plants since it won’t have been treated with chemicals.
    If you don’t have space for a water butt, watering your garden using a watering can is less wasteful than using a hosepipe.

So in summary, we know that the energy price hike is not going anywhere, but if you are struggling to pay your bills help is at hand, and for those trying to reduce their energy use and therefore energy costs, we hope we’ve given some great starting points to help you bring those bills down as much as possible.

If you are struggling to communicate with your energy provider or you’re unhappy with the service they are providing, Resolver are here to help you raise a complaint – visit our website to find out how.

Keep up to date with all news and our Resolver Guides, visit Resolver News

If you have any thoughts on this topic, or any other consumer issues you would like us to cover, feel free to get in touch with us at

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