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How to save money on household utility bills

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How to save money on household utility bills

How you can quickly reduce your monthly expenses.

Winter is soon upon us, and many families around the country will begin to be concerned about how high energy bills will be and the cost of living through winter.

Household costs like electricity, gas, water, broadband, car insurance and mobile phones consume most of our household budgets.

Rather than wait for the onset of another winter where prices will inevitably rise – now is the time to take stock and consider how we could save before winter arrives again.

By following these simple tips, you can save money and energy too!

Electricity and gas costs

Switching energy providers is more straightforward than you think.

The simplest way to examine and compare alternative suppliers’ contracts and prices are to view which deal will suit your home’s energy consumption using Comparison websites like Võrdle to assess all the Estonian energy suppliers.

Also, from 1 January 2013, the Estonian electricity market was opened to competitors. Energy suppliers must cut prices to remain competitive for fear of losing their customer base.

According to the eesti.ee portal, you only need to give a month’s notice to your current energy supplier if you have found a more cost-effective alternative. In the process, you can save hundreds of euros a year within a month.

With the ease of moving suppliers and the competitive market, Estonian households can save on their electricity bills.

Another obvious way to save money on your energy bills is to use less energy. The UK’s Energy Saving Trust’s website has loads of tips and ideas (in English) for clever ways to conserve energy in your home daily.

Switching off appliances rather than leaving them on standby, filling a kettle with only the water you need, turning off heating when nobody is in the home and fitting a water-efficient showerhead are just some of the suggestions.

Home phone and broadband contracts

As with electricity suppliers, household expenses can be reduced due to home and broadband costs.

Telecommunications companies often offer discounts if you take phone and internet packages together. Many offer even more discounts if they include mobile phone packages too.

Mobile phone charges

Having a mobile phone contract that better suits your needs is one way Estonian consumers can save on their mobile phone charges.

One way is to take a mobile phone package as part of a broadband or TV package. Another tip is to share the data package with your family using the mobile phone provider.

You can also ask your mobile phone operator to allocate a percentage of your data to each family member, ensuring they do not use too much.

Many mobile phone users forget to switch off their roaming data when they go abroad. Package limits are reduced when abroad. Others provide the same data within certain Scandinavian, Baltic and EU countries. (Note: as the UK left the EU, roaming data now has similar costs as other third-world nations).

When you’re coming to the end of your mobile phone contract, it pays to compare the pricing of different service providers and discover how much you could save by switching to a deal more suited to your data usage, call and texts pattern. 

If you do not wish to switch providers, you can check what a competitor offers and ask your existing provider to match the offer, or you’ll leave. Most likely, they will provide you with a discount.

Water usage

A water meter can help households monitor their usage and how much they use or waste.

Water meters may not save you more money than traditional-style water rates. Yet, water meters can be beneficial when water is not used during the day. 

Whether households have a meter or not, reducing water usage is beneficial. Again, the UK’s Energy Saving Trust’s site provides plenty of tips in English. These include turning off the tap whilst brushing your teeth, taking showers instead of baths, and only using the washing machine with a full load.

Car fuel and insurance

With ever-rising fuel costs, planning when you’ll fill up your tank and search for the lowest fuel prices makes sense.

There are other tips to consider when trying to reduce your car costs. Try changing your driving style, which can also help you save fuel and money. An average driver could save more fuel if they didn’t accelerate so fast, avoiding unnecessary braking or changing gear up a little earlier.

Concerning car insurance, consider paying for your premium in one yearly payment, which can save you more than monthly payments. Also, always shop around to determine the most affordable option to meet your requirements.

Furthermore, choosing a comprehensive policy in another county can be cheaper than your own, for instance, if you reside in Harjumaa. So, shop around in other counties!

This is because some insurers associate third-party policies with high-risk drivers looking for the cheapest possible coverage, charging more for a lower level of coverage. For example, taking out usage-based insurance through the Estonian company Cachet is worth considering if you rarely use the car.

Final thoughts

These simple tips involving choosing better energy and phone plans or altering how you drive can shave hundreds of euros off your annual household costs.

Yes, summer is just around the corner. Still, before we know it, it’ll be winter again, leading to increased household utility bills.

Rather than wait, take the necessary steps to review contracts, usage and insurance to help cushion the impact of price rises every year. 

How have you been able to save on household utility bills?

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