Understanding what makes up your utility bills is the first step to reducing how much you pay.
While the way you use electricity in your home will make up a significant part of the cost, it will also come down to your choice of electricity supplier and the type of deal you have.
Your water bill is slightly different. Unless you have a water meter, your bill is based on the rateable value of your home. This means that what you pay is down to the size of your property rather than how much water you use.
|Average water bill||£385 (1)
|Average electricity bill||£592 (2)|
If your bills are above average - or you'd just like to pay less for your water and electricity - check out our tips to cut the costs of these utilities.
Switch electricity providers - using a price comparison website to find the best deal could save you more than £100 a year
Use energy efficient appliances - look for appliances with the top energy rating (A+++) to cut your bills
Light up with LEDs - go for compact fluorescent lamp light bulbs to save around £3 a year per bulb
Or, to max out the savings spend a bit more and switch to LED bulbs. According to the Energy Saving Trust replacing all your halogen bulbs with LEDs could save £30 a year
Everyone loves a good gadget, especially when it can save you money on your bills.
An energy monitor will show you how much electricity you're using. If that doesn't prompt you to turn stuff off, invest in a smart power strip or a standby shutdown to do the job for you.
Also think about saving heat. An Ecoflap letterbox will stop the draughts and a radiator booster, which circulates heat faster, will keep you snug and warm.
You can also reduce the amount of water you use. As well as plumping for water-efficient dishwashers and washing machines, which save electricity, get smart in the bathroom with a water-efficient showerhead or a showersave. These give you the same powerful shower but save you around £100 a year by using less water. You can also reduce the amount of water your toilet uses by fitting devices such as Hippos and Save-a-Flush in your cistern.
Take advantage of the rain by fitting a water butt. These allow you to collect rainwater for your garden and might even make you smile when it's a miserable, rainy day.
Radiators vs electric heaters
There are plenty of ways to heat your home, with radiators and electric heaters among the commonest.
Radiators heat your home by being filled with hot water from your boiler. You can set when they come on and control the temperature with a thermostat. The potential downside is you'll need a central heating system, which can cost around £4,000 to install.
Electric storage heaters are powered up overnight when electricity is at its cheapest and then heat your home during the day. However, these systems can be difficult to control and the running costs are higher than for radiators running on a central heating system.
Is solar for me?
Tapping into the sun's energy to power your home is becoming increasingly popular with government figures (1) showing there are now more than 750,000 installations in the UK. This form of energy captures the sun's energy in solar photovoltaic panels usually fitted on your roof and converts it into electricity. This can then be used in your home or sold back to the grid.
As well as generating free electricity, government feed-in tariffs mean you'll get paid for everything you generate, even if you use it yourself. A solar energy calculator is available on the Energy Saving Trust (EST) website and it estimates that an average property will generate savings and receive payments of between £540 and £635 a year depending on location.
You'll need to maintain your panels and cut back overhanging trees to maximise efficiency. But the main catches are the cost, between £5,000 and £8,000 on average according to the EST, and the possibility of future changes to the feed-in tariffs.
Our new Reward current account offers 2% back in Rewards on select household bills for a £2 monthly fee. UK Residents and over 18s only. Find out more
Sam Barrett is an award-winning freelance personal finance journalist covering everything from the cost of having a baby to pension options at retirement. Her work regularly appears in a variety of consumer and trade publications including Money Observer and Moneywise.