I live with my two children and partner in a small semi-detached house. During the winter we use more heating and electricity as we’re home more. Do you have any tips on how I can keep the cost of my energy down during the winter?

There are a few things you can do to save some money during the winter period.  Check when your energy contract is due to expire. If you're at the end of your contract use energy compare by Citizens Advice to see if you could save money by switching supplier or tariff.

If you're on a prepayment meter you could save money by replacing your meter with one that lets you pay after using energy rather than in advance.  Most suppliers won’t charge you for removing a prepayment meter, though many will run a credit check or ask you for a deposit.

You may also be eligible for certain grants and benefits, these could include Warm Home discount or help with energy debt. Contact your nearest Citizens Advice if you need help with the application.

Here's a few practical tips to help keep costs down:

  1. Using a timer for your heating, lowering your thermostat and using radiator valve controls could save you over £100 per year
  2. Changing light bulbs to an energy-efficient one could save £50 over the lifetime of the bulb
  3. Turn appliances off standby mode to save around £30 a year 
  4. Seal cracks in floors, skirting boards and add draft excluders to letterboxes, doors and windows.

Some energy suppliers also offer grants to allow improvements to your home, like insulation or a new boiler.  What help you can get depends on your circumstances and what would help your home. You don’t need to be a customer of one of these suppliers to apply but you’ll need to check your eligibility.

If you live in Wales, the Nest scheme may also be used to support home improvements. There is additional health-based criteria you may qualify under so check whether you are eligible.

You can find out more information about your energy supply on the Citizens Advice website.  You can also get free confidential advice from Citizens Advice Cheshire West  by visiting your local office in Northwich, Chester or Winsford Monday to Friday between 9am and 12 midday and 1pm and 4pm.  Please note that we are closed for lunch between 12 midday and 1 pm.  In Ellesmere Port we are open Monday to Friday 9am - 2pm.  No appointment is necessary.  Or, phone 03445 76 61 11 Monday to Friday between 10am-12.30pm and 1pm - 4pm. 

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