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Posted by John King
Britons who have been watching their bills for heating oil and other fuels escalating in recent months should try and do something about it.
This is the advice of Martin Lewis, self-proclaimed money saving expert and a regular on TV and radio programmes aimed at helping people to drive down the rising cost of living.
While we may have got used to shopping around and comparing prices for things like insurance, Mr Lewis explained that not as many homeowners are doing this for energy, meaning they could be missing out.
He pointed out that the main products are the same, so no one provider can claim to be offering a better fuel.
"It's what's called a commodity product - it's exactly the same, but the only thing that changes across different companies is the customer service and the billing," he commented.
Mr Lewis said savings of up to £140 a year can be achieved on heating and electricity bills by swapping provider.
"Get yourself on a Consumer Focus-approved comparison site, do a comparison and stop being charged for apathy or inertia. It's as simple as that," he added.
You may also find that planning heating oil purchases in advance can save you money, as recently advised by the Consumer Council in an article for UTV.
This could be done using schemes such as BoilerJuice's buying weekends, which groups orders from the same postcode together and passes the discounts on to customers.
However, once you have followed these tips and made sure you are on the best tariff, the best way to save money on fuel bills could be to change the way you use energy.
For instance, a Northumbria University study found last month that many people are still relying on main boiler switches to regulate the temperature within their home, even if they have new heating controls that can warm only necessary rooms for greater efficiency.
Changing behaviour like this and applying other simple measures such as switching lights off are easy ways to ensure you keep more money in your pocket every year.
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