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11th Sep 2023

Need help with energy bills? Manage them better with these six tips

Sarah McKenna Barry

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

These steps will not only help you save money but they may help to ease your stress as well.

It’s no exaggeration to say that finances can be a major source of stress. From planning for the future to paying off debts to managing bills, it’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed at times.

However, one way to gain some control over your finances is by reducing your use. The warmer months can be a great time to cut back on our energy bills, when it’s safe and possible to do so, which will in turn help us with budgeting in the future.

Ready to take some steps in reducing your use? Through the Reduce Your Use campaign, the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland have signposted a number of ways for you to manage your energy costs better.

1. Contact your energy supplier

Engaging with your energy supplier is key. Whether you’re struggling with your energy bills or just want to prepare better for the winter, your energy supplier can help. If you are engaging with your supplier, you cannot be disconnected, and if you’re registered as a vulnerable customer, extra protections from disconnection are available. Your supplier may also be able to offer you a repayment plan. Click here to learn more.

2. Get help with budgeting

Making a budget will not only help track your energy bills and spending, but it can help you plan for the future, and show you ways to cut back. To make budgeting easier, MABS have some top tips to follow.

Tools like CCPC’s spending calculator and MABS’ weekly spending diary make it super easy to track your spending, and once you start, you may be surprised by what you’re buying and what you’re able to go without.

Examine your costs and divide them based on fixed costs (things that remain the same each week, month or year), or variable costs, which change. By doing this, you’ll find that some of your variable costs – such as electricity and gas – will be lower in the summer than in the winter. Continue the habit of setting money aside for these variables, and by winter you’ll be better equipped to stay on top of these bills when they start to rise.

3. Hot water

Only heat water when you need it, and consider lowering the temperature of water slightly when you shower. To save water, always opt for a shower instead of a bath, and when you have your boiler serviced, ask the plumber to go through the water settings with you.

Now is the time to make small investments to help 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.

4. Home appliances

Find out which appliances use the most energy and consider how often you use them. Avoid using large appliances during peak times (7am – 9am and 5pm – 7pm). This may not save you money, but it will help reduce pressure on the grid. Many new appliances will have delay settings to allow you to use your appliances outside of these times.

When it comes to laundry and dishes, use a lower temperature on your washing machine and your dishwasher, and wait until you have a full load before using the machine, and unplug your appliances when they are not in use.

Keep your fridge cool by minimising the time the door is left open.

When using the oven, keep the door shut and use the space well. Batch cooking can help save both time and energy. If you cook on the hob, cover pots and pans so that the heat doesn’t escape, and always use the right sized pan for the hob you’re using.

When replacing your appliances, always buy the highest rated energy product you can afford.

5. Lighting

Small changes to how we light our homes can help make a difference with our energy bills. Only turn lights on when you need them, 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

If it’s safe to do so, there are steps you can take reduce your heating, particularly during summer.

Even in warmer months, there might be a chill in the evening. If you do need to turn on heat, make sure you’re only heating the room you’re using – or even better, grab a jumper!

To make your boiler run more efficiently, get it serviced once a year.

The summertime can be a great time to reduce your heating and, as a result, your energy bills generally, however, you should continue putting away money to help save up for winter.

For more information on how you can cut back on your energy costs, go to – Reduce your use (

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