Problems paying bills? Tackle them with these budgeting and energy saving tips 2 weeks ago

Problems paying bills? Tackle them with these budgeting and energy saving tips

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

From cutting back on your energy use (when safe and possible to do so), to making a payment schedule, there is plenty you can do to help manage your bills.

We all know the feeling of managing household bills, and the worry that can come with them.

However, it's important to know that help is available. From tips on reducing your use, to getting help with budgeting, there are a number of steps you can take to feel more in control of your finances. 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 and bills better.

1. Contact your energy supplier

It's super important to engage with your energy supplier, as they can help in a number of ways. 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. Seek out support for budgeting

A brilliant way to stay on top of your bills is to draft up a budget. 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. This will not only help you keep track of where your money is going, but it can also prepare you for the future. For instance, you may find that you're spending less on electricity and gas during the warmer months, and you can then set money aside for winter.

Use tools like CCPC's spending calculator and MABS' weekly spending diary. Once you start tracking your money, you may be surprised by where it's going, and what you can go without.


For more resources on budgeting, MABS have some really helpful tips to follow.

3. Home appliances

By being clever about how we use our home appliances, we can reduce our use, which will ultimately help us reduce our energy bills.

Avoid using large appliances during peak times (7am - 9am and 5pm - 7pm). While this may not save you money, it does reduce pressure on the grid. Keep your appliances unplugged when they are not in use.

When cooking, use your oven well. Don't open the door unnecessarily and consider batch cooking to save time and energy. When using the hob, keep the lids on to conserve heat, and make sure you're using the right sized pan for the hob. You can also save energy by minimising the time the fridge door is left open.

Use a lower temperature on your dishwasher or washing machine, and always wait until you have a full load before doing a cycle.

And remember, when replacing appliances, always opt for the appliance with the highest rated energy score that you can afford.

4. Lighting


Only turn on lights in your home when you need them - during the summer this might not be until late in the evening - and switch lights off when you leave a room. Replace your old inefficient light bulbs with low energy LED lights. A good starting point is the lamps in the rooms you use the most, such as the living room.

5. Heating

If it's safe to do so, there are steps you can take to heat your house more efficiently, particularly during summer.

If you notice a chill in the evening in the summer time, make sure to only heat the room you're using, or, better yet, consider putting on an extra layer instead of reaching for the thermostat.

Throughout the warmer months, you may notice that your heating bills are lower. However, keep putting money away to help you prepare for winter, when your heating bills will be higher.

6. Hot water

Another area where you can reduce your use is by considering how you use hot water. Always shower instead of taking a bath, and consider lowering the temperature slightly as you do so. Make sure that you're only heating water when you need it.

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.