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How can I keep my gas and electric bills low in 2022?

  • Sharon McDougall -
  • 25th January 2022 -
  • 2 minutes to read

Improve energy-efficiency in your home to reduce energy costs

A huge rise in energy costs means you could pay significantly more for your gas and electricity this winter, and throughout 2022. Given that there are no cheap fixed rate deals available at the moment, the standard advice of switching suppliers to save money doesn’t currently apply.

If your fixed contract has expired or you’ve been transferred to a new provider because your previous supplier went out of business, the out-of-contract tariffs, which are also known as standard variable tariffs, are likely to be your cheapest option.

This is because of Ofgem’s energy price cap, which is currently £1,277 per year and £1,309 for prepayment meters. This cap is likely to rise in April 2022, however, with some predicting energy bills could increase by up to 50% at a time when the cost of living is already very high.

So what can you do to lower your gas and electric bills in 2022?

Help with energy costs in Scotland

Several initiatives exist in Scotland that could help you with your energy bills, including:

Warmer Homes Scotland

Warmer Homes Scotland is a Scottish government programme for homeowners and private sector tenants. Funding is available to make certain energy-saving improvements, which can include loft and/or wall insulation, central heating, draught proofing, and renewable energy solutions.

Interest free loans

Interest free loans to improve energy-efficiency in your home are also backed by the Scottish government, and available through Home Energy Scotland. There are two categories of loan:

  • Energy efficiency improvements (up to a maximum of £15,000)
  • Renewables systems:
    - Up to two home renewable systems (maximum loan of £17,000)
    - Energy storage system (up to £6,000)

Local schemes

Area based schemes delivered by local authorities around Scotland help people in fuel poverty to keep their homes warm. If you’re eligible for a local scheme you may be able to install improvements such as solid wall insulation.

Day-to-day measures to keep energy costs down

Pay by direct debit

Some energy providers offer a discount when customers pay by direct debit, as the company’s administration is reduced. This reduction helps with your bills, but the fact that payments are automated means you won’t miss one.

Send accurate meter readings

Sending an accurate meter reading each month enables you to pay only for the energy you use, and no more, as opposed to relying on an estimate provided by your supplier.

Use energy efficient appliances

Energy efficient appliances including washing machines and fridge freezers can save you money over the course of a year, but smaller changes such as using energy saving LED light bulbs also helps you keep your overall energy costs down.

What if you’re struggling to pay your bills?

If you can’t pay your gas and electricity bills and have other debts that you can’t manage, you may be eligible to enter the Debt Arrangement Scheme, or DAS. This is a government backed debt remedy that helps you repay unsecured debts, including energy arrears, over an extended period of time.

It’s important to seek professional guidance from a licensed insolvency practitioner/approved debt advisor if you can’t pay your bills - it’s very easy to slip into a debt spiral when debt repayments become unmanageable.

Scotland Debt Solutions has been helping Scottish residents escape debt since 1989 and can offer trustworthy independent advice. Please get in touch with our specialist team to arrange a free, same-day meeting. We’ll offer more guidance on lowering your energy bills and dealing with any arrears, and ensure you understand all your options.

Sharon McDougall
Sharon McDougall
Manager
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