Five simple energy-saving tweaks that could free up a lot of spare Christmas cash.

Christmas may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also the most expensive. According to the Bank of England, UK households spend more than an extra £500 in December compared to other months. For many, this means dipping into savings, going without elsewhere, or relying on credit cards and loans that can upset the financial balance for the rest of the year.

The good news, however, is that you could be sat on an untapped cash reserve without even knowing it. We’re talking about energy bill savings – and they can add up to a lot, year-on-year. Below are the easy tweaks you can make that could altogether save you the cost of Christmas – and then some.

  1. Switch your energy provide: save up to £300

Switching to a better value energy supplier could save you a whopping £300 a year, according to research from Which? What’s more, it’s really simple to switch – there’s no supply disruption, no paperwork and no engineer visits. You can also choose a green energy tariff. Here’s everything you need to know about switching your energy company.

  1. Change your lightbulbs: save £180

Energy-saving lightbulbs last longer than traditional bulbs, and they’re a lot cheaper to run. Your old-school lightbulb costs around £8.40 to run every year, and only lasts for two years. An LED bulb, meanwhile, costs just around £1.71 to run and will last for a whopping 25 years! According to Which? this adds up to a saving of £180 per bulb over the course of its lifetime.

  1. Turn down the thermostat: save £80 for every degree

We all love a toasty warm home, but if you can get by with a tiny temperature drop you could be quids in. According to the Energy Saving Trust, turning down your thermostat by just one degree will save you around £80 a year! The recommend temperature for fit and healthy people is 19C.

  1. Switch off standby: save up to £30

Mobile phones, TVs, games consoles, microwaves – we rely on a lot of stuff that’s constantly plugged in, and even if we’re not using an appliance, it’s still draining ‘vampire’ power from the electrical outlet. If you’re not using something, turn it off at the plug. If it’s too much of a faff to reach, or you’re too lazy to turn everything off at the end of the day (a common complaint!) then considering investing into a power strip or standby bar to hit everything at once.

  1. Be clever in the kitchen: save up to £36 a year

    We waste a lot of energy in the kitchen, just by being sloppy with the way we use things. Being a little more mindful, however, could save a nice chunk of cash. According to the Energy Saving Trust, using a bowl to wash up in, rather than leaving a hot tap running, could save £25 a year, while only filling the kettle with the amount of water you need will save £6. Getting on top of your laundry will help too – cut back by just one cycle a week and save £5.

In just five simple steps, you could save hundreds of pounds every year – extra cash that could certainly make for a merry Christmas, or a summer holiday, or some home improvements, or whatever you fancy. Better still, you can treat yourself knowing that by reducing your energy use and therefore your bills, you’re also reducing your impact on the planet, too – all the more reason for a festive celebration.

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