Make long and short-term plans to make your home energy efficient

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Consumers' energy use is mainly caused by the heating and cooling of households, with the recent cold weather causing even more energy to be used.

However, there are many effective ways that energy bills can be reduced,'s Jan Baggarly writes.

Both long and short-term plans should be made to help to reduce the amount of energy used and as a result cut the household's bills too.

An energy audit of the home is important, Ms Baggarly points out. This involves checking the insulation levels in attics, exterior and basement walls, ceilings and floors.

Holes and cracks around windows, doors, walls, ceilings and switches should also be checked for, as they can leak air into or out of the homes.

Ms Baggarly also recommends installing a programmable thermostat to help keep the house at a comfortable temperature.

Changing air filters on a regular basis can also help, as can ensuring that air vents are not blocked.

Earlier this month, it was reported that the recent big freeze meant that UK households would face larger energy costs. This makes it even more important to carry out energy saving measures and also shop around for the best deal on energy prices.

Richard Eden of energy price comparison service said that as well as energy efficiency measures, savings of more than 20 per cent may be available to some households simply by comparing suppliers prices and switching to cheaper tariffs.

Businesses too can save up to 50 per cent just by checking prices at

Click here to run an energy price comparison, and see if you could be paying less for your gas and electricity.

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