Winter can be an expensive time of the year, with heating and other utility bills often doubling – just when we’re getting ready for Christmas.

There are some simple but effective steps you can take at home that’ll help to keep bills down all year round. Here are a few:

• Adding loft or ceiling insulation will reduce heat loss in winter. Consider getting a quote from your builder to insulate the rest of your home too, especially if you have cavity walls.
• Use weather stripping/foam filler to fill up cracks around doors & windows and keep out drafts. However, if that gap keeps widening, it may be time to do some home improvements.
• Upgrading external insulation and adding double-glazing can also help to prevent damp and mould problems inside.
• Change your light fittings. Under current building regulations, it is mandatory for builders to install low energy light fixtures. However, if your home was built before these came into effect, it may be time to take action. This could save you up to 15% on your energy bills.
• Install solar panels and generate your own electricity – the rest you can sell back to the national grid.
• Upgrade your boiler to something more efficient, especially if you have extended your home – what was adequate before may no longer be so anymore.