HOUSEHOLDS are in for a winter of energy bills misery – but here's how to heat your home for less and get cash help.
Ofgem confirmed bills will go up from £1,971 to £3,549 on average a year after the new price cap was revealed today.
This will add an eye-watering 80% onto millions of people's bills as the cost of living crisis pummels household finances.
Hikes are expected to continue next year. Experts have warned bills will exceed £4,000 from January.
Households will be wondering whether they can afford to turn the heating on this winter with rocketing costs.
We round up five ways to heat your home for less – and how to get cash help for your bills.
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Draught proofing – save £30
Spending as little as £2 on draught proofing your home could save you £30 a year on your energy bills, Energy Saving Trust says.
On Amazon, you can buy 10 metres of the self-adhesive seal for only £2.89.
The tape will stop cold air getting in and hot air getting out by sealing any gaps on windows or doors.
If you don't want to shell out any money, there are ways to draught proof your home without spending a penny.
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Old socks, towels or blankets can be stuffed up against doors to prevent any chills getting through.
While putting clingfilm up against your windows provides an extra layer of insulation.
Only heat the room you need – save £490
A cheap way of putting on the heating is by only turning the radiators on in the rooms you are using.
It means you're not wasting energy – and cash – heating up the whole house.
How much you can save from this varies on a number of factors, such as how big your house is for example.
But savvy saver Scott Dixon told The Sun that he's saved £490 from just turning the heating on in his lounge – and turning his other radiators off.
Turn the thermostat down – save £100
This classic money saving energy bills trick really does work, experts say.
Uswitch estimates turning down your thermostat by just one degree can shave as much as £100 off your bill.
If you're wondering what the exact setting you should set your thermostat to, Energy Saving Trust recommends you should put it to the "lowest comfortable temperature".
For most of us this is between 18 and 21 degrees Celsius.
If you're tempted to turn it up a notch when the weather turns, reach for a jumper instead to avoid a bill sting.
Block your chimney – save £17
Blocking your chimney might make it harder for Santa to get down it, but it could save you money on your bills.
According to Energy Saving Trust, installing a form of draft excluder in your chimney could save you £17 per year.
It means draughts won't get in – and it will stop you reaching for the thermostat.
Put foil behind your radiator – save £20
Putting foil behind your radiator could save you £20 a year, according to British Gas engineer Joanna Flowers.
Instead of your radiator blowing hot air at the wall, if you put the foil behind the radiator, it will reflect it.
More hot air will be circulated around the room, giving your radiator a boost.
Simply put sellotape on the corner of the foil and pop it behind your radiator.
What cash help can I get for bills?
We round up cash help and grants you can get for your bills.
Energy grants – up to £1,500
Energy suppliers offer cash grants to those hardest hit by bills rises.
The British Gas hardship fund can give you up to £1,500 free cash towards bills.
Scottish Power will pay up to £750 in grants to help its customers pay off their energy debt.
Bulb has previously offered its customers grants worth £140 to help with rising bills.
The help you can get will vary depending on who your supplier is – we round up what you can get in our handy explainer.
Energy bill discount – £400
The government has also announced the every single household will get a £400 discount on their energy bill from October.
The money does not have to be paid back and it'll be paid in six instalments from October through till March.
Households will get £66 off their bills in October and November and £67 off their bills in December, January, February and March.
Warm Home Discount – £150
You can get £150 off your energy bills with the Warm Home Discount scheme.
You'll need to be a recipient of qualifying benefits to be eligible – you can check out more information if you can get the help here.
Household Support Fund – up to £100s
Local councils are giving out cash top help households struggling with bills and other essential costs.
How much you can get depends on where you live and in many areas.
To qualify you'll usually need to be a recipient of council tax support.
You can search for yours using the search tool on gov.uk – just enter your postcode.
Local councils also offer welfare assistance schemes all year round that can help you with bills.
Fuel vouchers for prepayment meters – £50
If you're on a prepayment meter you might be able to get a one-off voucher to top up.
The fuel voucher scheme comes via the Fuel Bank Foundation charity, and it's offered through a range of organisations, like food banks and Citizens Advice.
Ask your local council about getting a voucher – you can find yours via gov.uk by searching your postcode.
The voucher should help you cover around two weeks worth of electricity use.
Some energy companies may also issue their own vouchers, so ask your supplier directly.
Cold Weather payment – £75
When temperatures plummet those in low income households can get a £25 payment.
These cold weather payments have already been made in several locations where residents have experienced below zero weather.
The payment is made automatically, including to those on Universal Credit, for each seven day period of low temperatures between November 1 and March 31.
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If you're worried about falling behind on bills or if you're in debt. there are plenty of organisations where you can get free advice, including:
- National Debtline – 0808 808 4000
- Step Change – 0800 138 1111
- Citizens Advice – 0808 800 9060
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