Five ways you can save money on utility bills

  • Consumer rights expert Helen Dewdney, aka The Complaining Cow and author of How To Complain, shares her top tips to avoid being out of pocket after getting poor service or faulty goods

Citizens Advice has found customers who remain loyal to their utility providers are being penalised by £4 billion a year.

Four in five people pay a significantly higher price to at least one of their providers for remaining with them.

The overcharges apply across the five essential consumer markets of mobile, broadband, home insurance, mortgages and savings.

A super complaint has been lodged with the competition watchdog, but what can you do now to save money on bills?

  • Switching suppliers

Credit: PA

In the first instance, Citizens Advice suggest to look at your recent bill to see if you are being penalised.

Changing suppliers or providers for the first time can typically lead to savings of up to 20%.

  • Use price comparison websites

Credit: PA

Websites such as Money Saving Expert, uSwitch and Compare The Market can provide consumers with better deals on everything from mobile and broadband to home insurance and mortgages.

  • Change to a monthly direct debit

Credit: PA

Setting up a monthly direct debit can save you money but it is important to make sure companies sets it accurately so you are not overcharged.

  • Change to an email bill

Credit: PA

Switching to an internet tariff can save up to 10% with the only change being a bill sent over email rather than through the letterbox.

  • Research government grants

Credit: PA

There is a range of government initiatives designed to improve heating and insulation in your home.

The Energy Saving Trust has more information on changing to sustainable forms of energy at a cheaper price.