Student Energy Supply: Registering your energy providers

Student Energy Supply

Feeling completely lost? No idea how to even start sorting out your bills? You’re not alone. Learning about how to navigate bills is an essential (if boring) life skill and Switchwise is here to make it easier and cheaper! In order to get the best deal by switching you first have to register your property with the current energy provider.

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Student Energy: Saving Money Through Your Tariff

Sorting out your energy bills is much like revision – it isn’t the most interesting thing in the world, but you’ll seriously appreciate the results. Before you even start changing your habits to save energy, check out these tips to optimise your tariff.

1. Direct debit is your friend. It will help you skip late payment charges and force you to budget properly. However, make sure that you’re prepared for the money to leave your account. You don’t want any nasty surprises. It’s a good idea to set up a joint account for it. 

2. Paperless accounts mean that all your bills are delivered online. This is a great plan way to avoid losing your all important bill amongst all those takeaway pizza offers. Most importantly, managing your energy account online could save you up to 10% on your bill! As long as you know when you are due a bill and you check your e-mails regularly, this is a really easy way to save money.

3. Be aware of the pros and cons of different tariffs. ‘Standard’ tariffs are often the most expensive but they are ideal if you want a flexible contract. However, be wary of price hikes that might affect your bills! If you want to avoid massive price changes during your contract then think about a ‘fixed tariff.’ However, these often have nasty exit fees.

4. Dual tariffs. Energychoices.co.uk argue that customers with dual tariffs save the most money on their bills. This means that you have the same supplier for both gas and electricity. Many suppliers encourage this and offer the best deal with this option. However, Which? encourages users to be aware that discounted dual tariffs might not necessarily be any cheaper than using separate suppliers for gas and electricity. Confused? Luckily, Switchwise will do all the work for you. Find the best option for your postcode on our free Energy Price Comparison Service.

Try it out now! Use estimates if you don’t have exact usage numbers.

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SwitchwiseTM | UKPowerTM | UswitchTM

Student Energy Saving Tips and Tricks

Student Energy Saving Tips and Tricks

Student Energy Saving Tips

Forget all about tariffs, energy suppliers and bills for a moment *Collective sigh of relief*. Believe it or not, there are loads of easy and cheap ways to optimise your energy efficiency through some small changes to your habits. WAHOO.

1. Rugs. Not got carpets? First of all, why?! They’re definitely something to look out for when viewing potential homes. But if your home doesn’t have carpets, rugs are the ideal solution to stop warmth escaping and just making your room a bit more cosy. Any excuse for a day out to Ikea!

2. Wait until winter hits. You’re a student, you’re not supposed to be living in luxury. You don’t need your heating on until November/whenever winter gets serious. Get the another layer on. Why else did you think your third year friends go home for the weekend ALL the time?

3. Don’t charge things overnight. We don’t care how quick your battery dies, this is the worst waste of electricity. Especially if everyone in the house is guilty. Realistically it only takes 1.5 hours for an iPhone 5 to charge fully – not a full nights sleep.

4. Turn down the thermostat, not the radiators. Turning down your radiator won’t actually save you any money as the thermostat will keep the heating on until it reaches its target temperature anyway. It will just take longer. You won’t save money unless you also turn your thermostat down! Hive, the energy remote app, reckon that you can save 10% off your heating bill just by turning your thermostat down by only one degree.

5. Thick curtains. Did you know about 10% of your heating escapes through your windows? Whether you’ve got dodgy single glazing or major draughts, make sure that your curtains are closed for those cold winter evenings. If you’re lacking decent curtains, dig out that Ikea blanket your Mum bought you in first year and throw it over your curtains. You’ll fall in love with your new makeshift insulating curtains.

6. Natural heat is free. Make sure open curtains in day to catch sunlight. Rare, but free, heating.

7. Dry your clothes naturally. As tempting as it is to dry your clothes on the radiator – don’t do it! Your clothes will absorb the heat from your radiators AND pour condensation in to your house. That’s a double whammy nightmare of cold and mould. Don’t do it. Drying racks are far cheaper than using a tumble drier and they won’t shrink your clothes.

8. Don’t leave your lights on. Yes, this sounds obvious and we’re definitely starting to sound like nagging parents BUT just don’t do it! It simply isn’t true that it takes more energy to turn them off and on again than leave them running if you leave the room quickly. Be kind to your student loan. 

9. Buy energy saving light bulbs. Going green will save you £££.

10. Set timers! Most of you won’t be in the house all day so just set your heating to come on 45 minutes before you wake up and 45 minutes before you’ll all be home to get a comfortable temperature. You don’t need the heating on when you’re all cosy under your duvet so you only need it on for a couple of hours in the evening before you all crash out.

11. Tin Foil. Ok, bear us with this one. If you want the ultimate DIY heat-fix, buy some high quality kitchen foil (we’re not talking Tesco Value here) and place it behind your radiator. It will stop heating escaping in to you wall and will reflect it back into your house. YAY.

Finally, if you’re cold put a bleeding jumper on! Don’t turn up the thermostat up to a million degrees – it won’t get warmer any faster, the thermostat will just use more energy and stay on for longer. Not to mention you’ll get WAY too hot. Sweat is not cool.

So there we have it! You have all the tools to become the official dollar-saving officer in your student house. 

Try the home energy savings calculator!……

Free comparison service by
SwitchwiseTM | UKPowerTM | UswitchTM

Energy Myth Busting

Energy Myth Busting

Energy Myth Busting

So you’ve set up your student house bills, you’ve switched to the ideal tariff and you know all there is to know about good energy saving habits. But it’s time to sort out the truth from the trash. Which housemate is claiming their habits actually save energy?

“Dishwashers waste energy and water.”
It’s official – the Centre for Sustainable Energy said so. Don’t be that guy that tries to ban everyone from using the dishwasher. It would actually use far more hot water to hand wash ALL those food-encrusted plates that your house mates have left out for a week. If you only use it with a full load, no more than once a day on a medium temperature, you’lll be saving money AND keeping your kitchen clean. Opting for an economy setting will also use less power and water. (If you’re even lucky to have a dishwasher of course.)

“I can’t switch energy provider in a rental property”
Ofgem states that you are legally entitled to switch energy suppliers. Of course, this is a different story if your landlord is responsible for your bills or there aren’t any other suppliers available. But, normally you CAN always switch. Your landlord is required to make you aware of any legal ties if a supplier is mentioned in your contract but Ofgem says that you are still entitled to change. Head to www.switchwise.co.uk to get started.

“It’s not worth switching energy supplier, they’re all the same.”
LIES. Just like banks reward new customer with attractive interest rates, sticking with your old energy supplier won’t do you any favours. If you are an existing customer you will both likely have been moved on to a more expensive tariff. You aren’t rewarded for loyalty. Don’t be lazy, make sure you make the most of offers for new customers. Switching really isn’t as hard as you think- all you need to do is enter your postcode on www.switchwise.co.uk.

“Turning down the radiators will save us energy.”
Nope. If your thermostat is still turned up high your heating will still keep working until the room hits its specified temperature. Turning off radiators completely is also a bad plan as you’ll just be asking for mould to start growing in your student house.

“I can have long electric showers because they’re so much cheaper.”
Electric showers may save water heating costs but having a luxurious long shower may end up costing you just as much in electricity. No singing in the shower allowed I’m afraid.

“Turning up the thermostat will make the house heat faster.”
Don’t let yourself be tempted to ramp up your thermostat when you come to your freezing cold house. Your heating won’t work any faster, it will just be work for longer to reach a higher temperature. So it will cost you MORE without saving you any time. Not worth it. Get more energy saving tips here.