Search icon


04th Sep 2023

These six tips will help you tackle bills and reduce your use

Sarah McKenna Barry

Brought to you by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications. 

Need help with paying bills?

Managing our household finances can be a major source of stress, but there are steps we can take to feel more in control. If you feel like you want to cut back on your bills, reduce your use and be more environmentally conscious, we have some major pointers for you.

From easy tools you can use to create a budget, to tips on appliance use, we’ve teamed up with the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications through the Reduce Your Use campaign and MABS to bring you some handy tips on budgeting and reducing your use.

1. Contact your energy supplier

Whether you’re struggling with your energy bills or just want to prepare better for the winter, contacting your energy supplier is really important. You cannot be disconnected if you are in contact with your supplier, and they may be able to offer you a repayment plan if you’re struggling. Additionally, if you’re a vulnerable customer, extra protections from disconnection are available. For more on this, click here.

2. Get extra help with budgeting

Budgeting may seem like an overwhelming task, but there are a number of tools you can use to make the process easier. Head on over to MABS, where you’ll find plenty of budgeting advice and resources.

Start by tracking your spending using CCPC’s spending calculator and MABS’ weekly spending diary. Once you start this process, you may be surprised to see where your money is going, and the areas where you can cut back.

After drafting up a budget, you may find that you’re spending less on gas and electricity during the summer months. If this is the case, keep putting money away so that you will be better prepared come winter.

3. Home appliances

Reducing your use generally is essential to cutting back on your energy bills, and being smart about how we use our appliances can help in this regard. For starters, avoid using large appliances during peak times – 7am to 9am and 5pm to 7pm. This may not save you money, but it does reduce pressure on the grid. Unplug them when they’re not in use, and when it’s time to replace them, go for the appliances with the highest energy rating that you can afford. Here are other ways you can reduce your use when using appliances:

Cooking: Use your oven wisely. Don’t open the door unnecessarily, and consider batch cooking to save time and energy. When cooking on the hob, cover your pots and pans with lids so that the heat doesn’t escape. Ensure that you’re using the right sized hobs for the pans too. Don’t open your fridge door unnecessarily either.

Washing: Always wait until you have a full load before filling your dishwasher or washing machine, and consider using a lower temperature on each cycle.

4. Hot water

Only heat water when you need it, and if possible, lower the temperature slightly when you wash. Additionally, always opt for a shower instead of a bath as it uses less water.

The summer can also be a good time to invest in small changes to save in the future. Insulating your water tank and hot water pipes with foam tubing and installing an immersion timer can help reduce your use when it comes to hot water.

5. Lighting

By considering how we light our homes, we can also reduce our use. Only turn lights on when you need them – in the summer this might not be until late in the evening – and switch them off as you leave a room. Replace your old inefficient light bulbs with low energy LED lights. Start with the lamps in the rooms you use the most.

6. Heating

The warmer months are an excellent time to cut back on our heating, provided it’s safe to do so. If you feel a chill in the evening, consider turning the heat up just in the room you’re using, or better yet, pop a jumper on instead.

During the summer, you will find that your heating bills are less, but continue putting money aside so that you are better prepared come winter.

Brought to you by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications.