Save cash by planning and preparing wisely

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With energy bills a big worry for all of us this year, if you take a two-pronged approach you should be able to stay warm and save yourself a lot of cash at the same time.

You can act right now to protect yourself from burning money this winter.

l Check that you have the best possible deal on both gas and electricity and if not, switch providers. It’s estimated that finding the right tariff for your consumption level means you could save hundreds of pounds a year if you’re prepared to switch.

There won’t be any interruption to your supply – the new and old suppliers will sort that out between them.

Check bills for the last four quarters, then go to an online comparison website and see how you can improve on your existing deals.

Beware of locking yourself into a long-term contract as there may be penalties if you want to escape later on.

Act to make your house more energy efficient.

l Turn off appliances at the plug rather than leaving them on standby.

l Turn your central heating down by one degree.

l Insulate your loft – or top up what’s already there.

l Draught-proof windows and doors.

l Fill in gaps around floors and skirting boards.

l Insulate between floorboards.