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Five ways to save on your gas and electricity bills in 2014

If your Christmas spending has left you short of cash, saving money on your energy bills could help to get 2014 off to a good start. Here’s our five top tips on how you could save

The major energy suppliers in Ireland announced increases to their energy tariffs in 2013, pushing gas and electricity bills up.

Airtricity increased electricity price rises by 3.5% in November 2013. Electric Ireland increased their electric tariffs by an average of 1.7% in January 2014, while Bord Gáis Energy plan to increase their electric prices in February 2014. Last year’s price increases were not as big as the increases announced in years gone past but ultimately they have pushed the average household energy bill beyond €2,000 per year. What follows below are a few useful tips and tricks that can help to encourage energy-saving in your household:

Switching provider

With energy tariffs rising, finding the best deals for saving energy could mean switching suppliers to one offering cheaper rates.

Using an impartial accredited comparison site like uSwitch.ie can help to find the best deals and prevent you from overpaying for your energy. Assessing your options is important as the cost of your energy can vary depending on a number of factors such as: different payment options, special introductory offers, rewards schemes and whether you are on a dual fuel plan or not, to name just a few.

Turn off what’s not in use

Some advice never gets old and this is certainly one such piece. Powering lighting and appliances when they are not in use can add a significant amount to yearly bills.

Simply turning them off when not in use can represent a saving, as many gadgets could drain your energy without you even being at home.

Energy saving gadgets

Items that can provide you with a degree of control over your energy usage can help to make your home more efficient, saving money in the process.

Radiator keys to remove excess air in your heating appliances or radiator boosters can help to increase efficiency, while plug-in thermostats can control when the heating is on or off.

Help others to switch

Finding a supplier that is reliable and that offers good energy rates is simpler than you think. Switching energy providers will take you about 5 minutes.

If you’ve found a supplier after switching that you have had a good experience with then why not let your friends and family know. They might not be as savvy as you when it comes to saving on their bills, so a little guidance with comparison tools or the internet can go a long way.

Improving energy efficiency

Making a few changes to make your home more energy-efficient can lead to savings in the long term, with draught proofing to prevent the escape of heat being a relatively cheap option.

Other actions such as the installation of wall and loft insulation can also make your home warmer and ease the strain on your home’s heating appliances. Financial assistance is available in some cases if you are considering these options, so it’s always worth doing a little research before undertaking any work. You can find lots more energy-efficiency tips in our energy saving guides