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Microsoft Cloud Authors: Eric Aarrestad, Greg O'Connor, Liz McMillan, Aleksei Gavrilenko, Elizabeth White

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Top Money Saving Tips for Energy Users

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM -- (Marketwire) -- 02/16/13 -- Homes across Britain suffered badly last year due to the economic crisis - and with a double-dip recession expected for 2013 there's no silver lining in sight.

Energy bills are a particular source of bewilderment for most users as energy prices keep rising despite drops in crude-oil prices and many people across the country accepting wage freezes in order to keep their jobs. The 'big 6' energy companies are particularly responsible for this pricing issue but there may be some ways you can beat them at their own game.

With this in mind we've put together a few top tips for cutting down your energy bills this winter...

Proper Insulation

Adding proper wall cavity insulation could save you up to GBP 135 per year depending on the age and state of repair of your home. This saving is further extended with proper loft insulation. As around 30% of your homes heat can be lost through the room this insulation could save you up to GBP 175 per year.

Eco Friendly Lighting

Traditional bulbs not only give off a very harsh light they also consume huge amounts of electricity. Modern energy saving bulbs last up to 10 times longer than traditional bulbs and could save you up to GBP 40 over the duration of their lifetime. Now imagine that saving across every bulb in your home and that's quite a tidy packet you won't have to spend.

Lower Your Heating

This is a slightly cheeky tip as who are we to say what's the perfect temperature? However, most people would be quite comfortable with their heating turned down just one or two degrees - which is great news, because for every degree you turn down your heating you could be saving up to 10% off your gas bill.

Replace Your Outdated Boiler

If your boiler is older than 15 years then it almost certainly won't conform to recent efficiency protocols and it's probably burning up a lot of your cash. Although the initial investment can cost as much as GBP 1500 (for the average size boiler) with potential savings of up to GBP 230 a year this home improvement will have paid for itself in money savings in around five years. Plus many companies have a boiler exchange/scrappage scheme which might net you as much as GBP 700 towards the cost of your new equipment.

Get a Smart Meter

Not all energy companies provide a Smart Meter but some of the best ones do. A smart meter gives much more accurate readings for your energy usage which means that you're likely to save money as you won't have to pay estimated costs anymore. This should certainly save you more than a few pennies in the long run.

About First Utility

First Utility is the UK's largest independent energy supplier. It supplies gas and electricity to over 180,000 residential and business customers throughout the UK. First Utility is pioneering the use of new technology within the energy sector to empower its customers to control their energy spend. It was also the first UK energy supplier to offer smart meters to all its customers in 2008. In 2012 it launched my:energy, an online analytics service which provides households and businesses with personalised information regarding their energy usage.

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