The festive season is nearly upon us, and with dropping temperatures, extra guests and Christmas dinners to contend with, many of us will be feeling the pinch when it comes to our finances.
But aside from what working out what you'll spend on stocking fillers and festive food and drink, have you stopped to consider the other costs, such as lighting and heating your home?
The energy experts at UKPower have taken a look at the UK’s energy spending habits over Christmas and have predicted that households will spend a collective £41.6 million on energy on Christmas Day alone - that’s a lot of extra cash that could be spent in the January sales!
See how this breaks down in our infographic (blog continues below):
If you're worried about high energy bills as Christmas approaches, we’ve put together some top tips to help you save energy and money pennies this winter.
Staying warm in the house this Christmas doesn’t have to mean turning up the thermostat. As a rule of thumb, you can save around 3% on your heating bill for every degree you turn down your thermostat - meaning you could shave serious money off your energy costs.
To keep cosy, keep the curtains closed in the evening to retain heat in the room, wrap up in a warm jumper and thick socks and consider fitting reflector panels behind your radiators. These can reflect back 95% of the heat energy radiated from the rear of your radiator, making your room much warmer - perfect for those lazy afternoons watching Christmas films.
When it comes to the cost of Christmas, cooking a turkey was found to be the biggest energy sucking activity, with the UK expected to spend £27.7 million on this alone on December 25th. To save on costs when cooking, try not to open the oven door too frequently, as heat lost when opening and closing the door can cause the oven to use more energy. And don't bother pre-heating the oven hours before cooking - as the oven heats up slowly, the meat will cook more thoroughly, saving energy and money.
If possible, it's also worth roasting all vegetables in the same tray to reduce oven time and time spent washing up. And do the same with boiled vegetables - sprouts, leeks and carrots can all be cooked in one pot on the stove.
However it’s not all bad news this Christmas - a fridge bursting with Christmas delicacies acts as insulation, meaning your fridge needs to run for less time to stay cool and therefore uses less energy. A good excuse to stock up on the Christmas pudding!
Having a tree lit up with lots of fairy lights is often a non-negotiable part of the festive season. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t give the other areas of your house some energy-saving TLC. Taking the time to replace just one old lightbulb with an energy saving alternative could help reduce your bill, with savings of up to £78 to be made over the lifetime of the bulb. Every little helps!
After a cosy night in front of the TV, it’s all too tempting to slope off to bed without another thought. However, it’s important to turn off the power on appliances that don’t need to stay on when not in use. Items such as TVs and DVD players can use up a considerable amount of energy on standby, so ensuring you switch everything off after your Christmas film marathon could help you save money on your energy.
Nationwide it’s estimated we could be overspending by up to £2.7 billion on our energy bills , and with our research revealing just how much we’re spending on Christmas Day, December could be the ideal time to switch up your supplier and get a better deal. Switching to a new supplier could save you as much as £200 on your gas and electricity bills, so what are you waiting for?
Just pop your postcode in the box at the top of the page to find out how much you could save.
Click here to run an energy price comparison, and see if you could be paying less for your gas and electricity.