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Energy experts, including those working for local utilities, can help devise a plan that lowers your electricity, water and gas bills. You might start by contacting the power company to learn if a cost-management plan is available. Next, consider how you can trim what you use. Programmable thermostats, which once could cost several hundred dollars, are now reasonably priced. Set the thermostat fan to auto so that it only runs when the furnace or HVAC unit is operating.

Drafty homes are energy wasters. For little money, you can buy weather stripping for doors and windows and caulk to seal leaks both inside and outside your house. Insulating window covers, often drapery or blinds, can deflect solar heat in the summer. This will keep the drying operating efficiently and might prevent a fire. Use a toaster oven or a microwave instead of the large kitchen oven when preparing smaller meals.

Keep the kitchen faucet in the cold position when using a small amount of water. Putting it on hot will draw from the water heater, even though the heated water might never reach the sink. There are more ambitious steps for saving, but the costs can be considerable.

A household energy audit will help you decide which are worth taking based, in part, on how long you plan to keep your home. Here are some examples of improvements that will save energy and might add to the value of your home:. Search for a course. Popular subjects. Where to study See what makes a university special and discover where you belong. Find a university. Popular university cities. Get advice Get tips, tricks and wise words from students and experts at each stage.

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Skip to: What do I need to do when I move in? Where are my gas and electricity meters? How do I read my gas and electricity meters? How do I pay my energy bills? How can I save money on gas and electricity? Can I change gas or electricity supplier? How do I switch gas and electricity supplier?

What do I need to do when I move in?

The student's guide to gas and electricity bills

Read your gas meter and electricity meter as soon as you can, and write down the readings you see. You'll need to give these to your energy company so you're only charged for the power you use and not what the previous tenants used. Contact the companies that supply gas and electricity to your property to register that you're living at that address, choose your energy tariff and set up payment.

If you're renting a house, check outside the property for a cabinet or meter box. Sometimes you'll find your meter in the hallway, kitchen or in a cupboard under the stairs. If you're renting a flat, try these or the communal hallway too. If your search is unsuccessful, your landlord, letting agent or inventory should also be able to tell you where your meters are located.

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Having problems with your letting agent or landlord? Find out your tenant rights on Which? Consumer Rights. To read your energy meter, simply write down the numbers you see, from left to right. You can ignore any red numbers or dials. If your electricity meter has two sets of numbers labelled normal and low, or day and night , this is an Economy 7 meter or a 'white meter'.