As the nights draw in and the temperatures drop, Ricky Willis, Editor of Skint Dad Blog, is on a mission to get families up and down the country taking simple steps around the home to get energy bills as low as possible.

Ricky is a member of The Institute of Inertia, a partnership between The University of Sheffield and, which is looking at the psychology behind why we don’t take action when it comes to potential savings. Ricky knows first hand what it’s like to struggle financially and how small changes can make a big difference in driving down household bills.

Here are Ricky Willis’s top five winter tips to help conserve energy and keep your energy bills at low as possible:

1. Get out and about – You don’t need the heating on when you’re out of the house, so rather than sitting at home at the weekend, make time to get outside as a family. Head down to the local park for a run around with a ball, or wrap up warm and go for a long walk.

2. Use the right ring for the right thing! If your cooker has a small ring, try using a small pan. You might only be heating up a small meal, and doing so in a big pan can waste a lot of energy. Conversely, if you try and heat a large pan on the small ring, you’re more likely to end up heating for longer.

3. Draft Proofing – why not turn this into a fun activity for the whole family, and make your own animal draft stoppers?  They’re easy to make and can be filled with cheap materials, uncooked rice or dried beans, and they are sure to block out the chilly winter weather.

4. Make up a hot water bottle - it might sound old fashioned but there is nothing better than jumping into a pre-warmed bed on a cold night! They’re not expensive to buy and will keep you toasty, instead of keeping the heating on when everyone’s gone to bed.

5. And finally, switch you energy provider – this could have the biggest impact on your energy bill with the potential to make an annual saving of £235*.’s Snapt App is a fast and simple way to see if you could save money on your energy bills, with no form filling or questions to complete.

*50% of customers who used to switch their gas & electricity bill in April 2015 could have saved £235 on their annual energy bill.

About the Institute of Inertia

*The Institute of Inertia, a partnership between and the University of Sheffield, launched in 2015 and looks at the psychology behind financial inertia to help consumers save wasted time and money.

*The Institute of Inertia is a network of experts and academics led by The University of Sheffield’s Dr Thomas Webb, a specialist in consumer behavior.

*A programme of qualitative and quantitative research tranches inform the Institute of Inertia and help shape and test potential solutions to drive behavioural change. 

*For more information on the Institute of Inertia, please visit   


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