Four ways to save up to £2,375 to help cover energy bills this winter

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Copyright STEWART WILLIAMS 07956 568150 THE SUN. Sun on Sunday Squeeze Team. 7/1/22 Martyn James - Transport and travel specialist

WITH energy bills rocketing in winter, there are four ways to save up to £2,375 to cover spiralling costs.

Ofgem announced on Friday that the price cap, which limits how much suppliers can charge customers for energy, will shoot up to £3,549 on average a year.

Here’s how to cut costs ahead of miserable bill hikes this winter

It is a blow to millions of customers who can’t afford their bills NOW, even before the hike rolls out from October 1.

That’s why HOAR has picked consumer expert Martyn James’ brains about four ways to start saving now.

He’s one of our experts on HOAR’s Squeeze Team panel – here to help you through the crippling cost of living crisis.

If you’re worried about how to make ends meet, are struggling to pay off your debts or don’t know how best to manage your cash, get in touch by emailing [email protected]

Here are Martyn’s tips for saving up to £2,375 that can be put towards your energy bills.

Combing through your bank account – save £1,000

It’s easy to get roped into signing up for a free trial only to forget all about it – until you get hit with the bill at the end of the month.

If you don’t comb through your bank statements regularly, you could be paying for something you never use.

“You could literally save over £1,000 by going through your bank account and cancelling everything from old insurance policies to free offers you signed up to and don’t realise you are paying for,” Martyn said.

If you don’t have time to sit down and go through your finances, you can get apps to do it for you.

Apps like Little Birdie or Snoop can help you do this.

Sell unwanted items – over £1,000

Selling unwanted items around the house can help you make a quick buck to put towards your energy bills.

One eBay expert told HOAR that you can easily raise over £1,100 from selling items in demand, like DVDs, pushchairs and laptops.

There are other sites like Facebook Marketplace, Depop, and Instagram where you can advertise and sell on your old things.

Do your research before you sell – check how much your exact item has been bought for in the past and price it accordingly.

“Be honest about the condition though and take lots of photos – and make sure you send the goods as per the website’s instructions,” Martyn said.

Get school uniform support – save £200

Hard-up parents can get up to £200 in cash support from their local council to put towards the cost of school uniform.

It means that you can free up this money for your energy bills instead.

But parents face a postcode lottery when it comes to getting the cash as the amount can vary depending on where you live – and in some places there’s nothing at all.

When and how to apply, as well as who is eligible for the payment will also depend on your location.

You can find out who your local council is using the gov.uk checker tool.

There are other ways to get cash off your kids’ school uniform too, Martyn said.

” Many councils have free uniform exchanges offered within your local community or even through the school itself.

“Some of the big supermarkets have major discounts on at the moment for back to school uniforms and supplies too.”

For example, Asda is offering £5 cash back if you spend £25 or more on uniform – but beware, as shoppers have had trouble accessing the discount.

Switch banks – up to £175

Banks often offer incentives to get new customers in – including free cash.

For example, Santander is offering £175 to new and existing customers to switch their current account – information about who can get this is in our handy explainer.

First Direct is currently offering a £175 switching bonus for customers.

Customers switching over to Halifax will be in line for £150.

When you agree to swap, the bank will handle all the hassle of switching your current account – including direct debit and standings orders set up – over to a new one.

It is usually done within seven days – and you don’t even have to tell your old bank you are switching, as everything is done automatically.

“Check out the terms and conditions first though as you usually have to have a minimum amount of money going through the account each month,” Martyn said.

“But if you switch your wages in to that bank you could make a profit.”