I slashed my heating bill by £130 using free items I had at home – how you can do it too


A SEWING enthusiast turned her hobby into an easy way to cut energy bills, with items lying around her home.

Annabelle Sanderson, 41, who lives in Bath, used material from some old curtains to make draught excluders – and cut £130 from her annual energy bill.

Annabelle said she estimates she’s saving around £130 on her yearly heating bills

Annabelle has created a number of draft excluders for doors and windows

The charity worker and PR account manager had seen her energy bills rise from £80 to £104, due to soaring gas and electricity costs.

Then her supplier British Gas warned her that her monthly bill would be rising to £150 a month, however she was able to haggle this down after giving a meter reading.

Annabelle, who is a fan of crafting, decided to make her own draft excluders for her home to help plug the energy lost through her doors and windows.

“I’m good at sewing, I make hats as a hobby and I live in an old house,” Annabelle said.

“While they are great for big thick walls, when you get a new door there’s usually gaps.

“So for my birthday one year I asked for a curtain and got the extra material and I just thought ‘I’ll make a draft excluder’.”

Annabelle said making the excluders was easy – you will need to have basic level sewing skills though.

She said: “You get a rectangle of material and can fold it up, sew the ends, stuff it with an old pillow and hand stitch the ends.

“I did it while I was watching the tele. Even if you’ve got arthritis and can’t make an excluder you can roll up a towel instead.”

By plugging the draughty gaps in her home it means that less energy will escape, allowing her to turn off her heating more.

She estimates this will save her £130 over the next year on her two-bedroom 19th century property.

In September 2022, a report from Citizens Advice found some families see 30% of heat produced in the home lost due to draughts.

In properties where there is an energy performance (EPC) rating of F, that means a £950 loss every year through walls, windows and roofs.

Properly insulating your home can help prevent the majority of heat from escaping.

But draught excluders can be a cheaper alternative that still saves you money.

The Energy Saving Trust says you can fit foam strips on your roof and metal or plastic strips with brushes on your windows.

You can get a professional in to cover the whole house, but it’ll be cheaper to buy the products and fit them yourself.

The Range is selling door draught excluders from £8.99, while Screwfix has some on sale from just £1.52.

How else can you save on your energy bills?

There’s plenty of other ways to save on your energy bills.

There’s eight “vampire appliances” you should watch out for that could be upping your outgoings by hundreds of pounds.

Plus, a number of energy providers are taking part in the “Demand Flexibility Service”.

The scheme has been drawn up by the National Grid ESO and is designed to reduce pressure on the energy network and prevent blackouts.

The National Grid ESO ran its first “live service” on Monday, January 23.

Customers who took part were paid to turn off their appliances between 5pm and 6pm.

Ordinary members of the public are thinking up ingenious ways to cut back on bills.

A postman says he is saving thousands a year on gas bills by heating his home with just two tealights.

Plus, a dad-of-two has managed to slash £750 off his bills by turning off or selling his energy guzzling appliances.

What about if I’m already struggling with bills?

A number of energy providers offer grants to customers who can’t pay their bills.

This includes British Gas, EDF, Scottish Power and Octopus Energy.

British Gas’ scheme pays out a maximum £1,500 to customers who are really struggling.

You can get help if you’re not a customer too.

On top of this, millions of households should be in the process of receiving a £400 energy rebate.

Households will already have received a £66 energy bill discount in October, November and £67 in December.

There will also be a payment worth £67 in January, February and March.

You might be able to get help via the Household Support Fund as well.

The money is being handed out by local councils so what you are entitled to will depend on where you live.

But, in most cases, the money is given to people on benefits or a low income.

Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]