The spread of the Coronavirus has turned the world upside down, with circumstances changing for everyone and impacting on our daily lives. Now, with the government urging people to stay at home and to work from home if at all possible, the focus has shifted onto how we can save money and our energy usage, with gas, electricity, water and internet all rising now that we’re confined to our homes.

According to new research from, the comparison and switching service, the UK could spend an extra £52 million a week on household energy bills as an estimated 16.8 million people stay at home due to coronavirus, with people possibly spending an extra £16 a month on energy - equivalent to £195 a year for those on a poor-value deal.

While the rise in usage can certainly present problems, now is the ideal time to save money by changing providers, ensuring that you’re getting the best deal and working out ways to cut down on your own usage to reduce those bills. Energy providers are also offering help to customers unable to pay their bills, so it’s always worth getting in touch with your supplier directly to see what they can do for you.

Get switching

Changing your providers can save you hundreds of pounds a year, while we all know this, more people could be taking advantage by switching providers. Switching is easy, and will only take five minutes of your time. To get the most quotes instantly, head over to a price comparison website, enter your details and see what they come back with.

Once you’ve got these quotes, it’s worth checking in with your current provider to see if they can price match or even better it, perhaps saving you the trouble of switching and getting you a good deal at the same time.

Top tips to save energy

An easy way to cut down on your bills is to cut down on the energy you’re using. Whether you’re looking to save money on water, heating or broadband, these tips will help see you through this tough time.

1. Defrosting frozen food in advance can halve the time you spend cooking it, saving you the energy you would have otherwise spent on defrosting it in the microwave. Get into the habit of leaving the frozen food in the fridge overnight to cut out unnecessary usage.

2. Turning your thermostat down by just 1°C can save you as much as £75 per year, and as we begin to enter the Spring season the need for heating is decreasing. If you feel yourself getting chilly, layer up; wearing jumpers, socks and slippers around the house and putting an extra blanket on the bed are great substitutes and will stop you from being tempted to turn the heating up.

3. 90 per cent of a washing machine’s energy expenditure is spent heating the water, so by washing your clothes at a lower temperature you’ll be saving yourself a considerable amount of money. These lower temperatures won’t have any effect on the quality of the wash, so turn your machine down to 30-40°C now. Also, air-drying your laundry instead of using the tumble dryer is another great way of forgoing the use of energy and making the most of nature, though not always possible if you have young children or don't have a garden.

4. If something is plugged in but not being used, turn it off. A significant amount of electricity is wasted every day by leaving appliances plugged in despite not being in use, but all of that can change with a flick of a switch. Even charger cables that don’t have anything plugged into them, but are still connected to the socket, are wasting electricity, so unplug anything that isn’t being actively used and switch it off at the plug for good measure.

5. If you’re leaving the room with no intention of coming back again, turn off the light.