Part 5 | Energy-saving tips for home workers

April 23rd, 2020


In the fifth of our blogs on saving money while working from home, we’re giving top billing to understanding your energy use and finding the right deal.


Quite simply, fuel bills can be confusing. Tariffs, kilowatt-hours, meter readings; hardly everyday terms. But when it comes to something so important to your comfort of living and bank balance, it helps to know what your energy bill means. Crucially, it could help you know whether you’re paying over the odds for what you need, meaning switching deal or supplier is the way to go.

Call our Home Energy Scotland advisors on freephone 0808 808 2282 or email for help understanding your bills.

Switch and save

One of the quickest ways to make big savings on your bills is to switch to the best supplier or tariff to suit your needs. Most suppliers offer a range of tariffs for gas, electricity, and ‘dual fuel’ plans that cover both.

There are four main types of tariff available:

  • Dual fuel: you will receive both electricity and gas from the same supplier, which usually means reduced rates and less hassle as you’ll only be dealing with one company.
  • Fixed rate: you pay a fixed amount for each unit of energy used for a set period – usually one, two or five years. This can help you budget, but likely means you’re tied to that deal unless you pay an exit fee.
  • Green: the energy company will offset your energy use with environmental action, typically by generating energy using renewables technology. This is a great way to show commitment towards green energy but the tariffs are often more expensive than others.
  • Standard variable rate: this is the tariff most suppliers will put you on as standard. If you haven’t switched in a long time or the deal you were on has expired, it’s possible that you will now be paying standard variable rate. Unlike fixed rate, you’re not locked into any deal so there’s greater flexibility and no exit fees if you want to change supplier. However, standard variable rates are subject to price rises (or drops) so you could be paying more than you need to.

Switching supplier or tariff could save you £100s every year. Energy companies are obliged to tell customers which is their best deal every year. You will also find tariff checkers on their respective websites. There are also lots of comparison websites out there if you’re open to changing supplier in search of the best deal. But sometimes is best to talk it through with someone.

You can get free and impartial advice on energy tariffs and switching by giving our Home Energy Scotland advisors a call on freephone 0808 808 2282 or emailing

It would help if you have to hand the name of your current supplier, the name of your tariff and how much energy you use. Your bill will give you all this information. Know how you currently pay your energy bills, and think about how you’d like to pay for a new deal. It can make a difference…

Changing your ways

Most suppliers will offer discounts depending on how you pay for your bills and manage your account. Paying by direct debit (as opposed to cash or cheques) will not only save you time and effort but, on average, £100 a year too.

You may also be able to make further savings by switching to paperless billing and receiving all bills online. Even if it doesn’t save you any money, it’ll mean you and your supplier are helping the environment by using less paper!

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay