Expert tips to reduce energy bills now before expected price hike this winter

With the British summer in full swing and many of us turning down the heating, it's tempting to put the memory of last winter's costly energy bills on ice. However, a consumer expert is warning against complacency, advising now is "not the time to take your eye off the ball" with simple steps available to reduce future bills ahead of an anticipated hike in energy costs later in the year.

From October 1, the cap on the per unit price of energy is expected to jump by 12 per cent to £1,762 annually for the average household. This increase will negate the seven per cent reduction that took effect on July 1, leading to an average rise of nearly £200 just as the winter chill sets in.

Currently, most UK households are on standard variable tariffs governed by the energy price cap. With energy prices at a relative low, Uswitch says it could be "a good time to get a fixed deal" before the forecasted price surge, reports the Mirror.

READ MORE: Martin Lewis' asks experts how renters can get their landlords to fix black mould

However, looking for better deals isn't the only way to mitigate upcoming energy expenses. Simple measures like turning off the heating during warmer weather can help save money or accumulate credit with your energy provider.

Ben Gallizzi, Uswitch energy expert, emphasised: "With energy prices falling and the temperature rising, it's easy to forget about the power bill, but now is not the time to take your eye off the ball.

"There are a few simple summer swaps you can make around the home that will cut your energy bill and put more money back in your pocket. Although switching off the heating is the biggest contributor to energy savings, other small changes will quickly add up.

"If the weather is dry, people with a garden or balcony can make the most of the warmer weather to dry clothes rather than using expensive tumble dryers."

Ben went on: "Anyone making changes to how they use energy around the home can track their usage using apps, such as Utrack by Uswitch, to see what impact this is having on their bills.

"With the price cap due to drop on July 1 but set to soar again in October, now might be the time to secure a fixed deal. Households on a standard variable tariff, or those about to reach the end of a fixed deal, should compare to weigh up their options."

Uswitch's other summer energy-saving tips

  1. Turn off the heating if you are going away. While in the winter it can be beneficial to heat your home for a few hours a day even if you’re not home, it isn’t as necessary at this time of year and will be costing you money.

  2. Consider hot tubs carefully. If you are thinking about buying a hot tub, consider how efficiently they run when picking one. Pricier hot tubs are likely to be better insulated and could be a better investment as they will cost less to run long term. Make sure you get a well-fitted cover that forms an airtight seal to avoid losing heat and using more energy.

  3. Let the grass grow. At only 25p a time on average, mowing the lawn isn’t a big contributor to energy bills, but households looking to make savings could reduce the number of times they cut the grass — which can also be beneficial for insects, hedgehogs and wild flowers.

  4. Use outdoor space to cut your laundry bill. If you have a garden or balcony, you can make use of the warmer weather by hanging clothes outside to dry.

  5. Use solar power. Solar-powered lights can make a great alternative to electric garden lighting. They don’t need a power source, so will save you money in the long run.