WINTER is just around the corner and millions of households will be trying to stay warm while keeping their costs down.
And while PM Liz Truss is freezing energy bills at £2,500 from October 1, this is only what suppliers can charge, and your bill might be higher if you use more energy.
That makes it more important than ever to make savings where you can.
So when you're trying to get cosy on a chilly evening, you may think about reaching for a hot water bottle or an electric blanket.
But which one costs more to run? We've taken a look at the numbers.
The prices we quote are from October 1 when the new energy price guarantee comes in.
How much to run an electric blanket?
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Many people use an electric blanket to warm their beds before they get in, popping them under the sheets just before bedtime.
The price of running a heated blanket depends on what model you have and how much you use it.
It's important to note these prices are an estimate – how much you spend will always depend on which model you have and how much you use it.
But, on average, USwitch estimates it will cost 24p to run a heated blanket for one hour a day for seven days.
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If you use it for an hour per night for the coldest four months of the year, that's 91 nights and a total cost of £3.13.
If you used it for seven hours a night over that period of time, the annual cost would be £15.28.
Of course, every extra hour you use it increases this cost, and the exact cost will depend on your energy tariff.
How much does it cost to fill a hot water bottle?
The average hot water bottle has a capacity of 2 litres, and will stay warm for hours.
But you will need energy to heat that water up in the first place.
It's not advisable to put boiling water into a hot water bottle, as this can corrode the rubber and cause leaks.
However, you can put nearly boiling water in there – so by all means fill the kettle up, but leave it to cool slightly before transferring the liquid to your hot water bottle.
Using a hot water bottle cover or simply wrapping a towel or blanket around it will help keep the heat in for longer, and ensure it's not too hot to touch.
A standard kettle uses about 3kW of power, according to USwitch.
From October it'll cost 9p to run your kettle for five minutes.
If you do that once a day for your hot water bottle, for the same four months of the year, that's just 81.9p in total.
And if you top your hot water bottle up once in the day and again at night, that's just £1.64 if you do it for 91 days through the winter.
Electric blanket orhot water bottle – which is the cheapest?
The hot water bottle comes out considerably cheaper, with a kettle much less expensive to boil than having an electric blanket on for an hour.
Of course, which method you choose will depend on your individual preference.
You could also argue that the electric blanket is larger so will keep more of you warm, and should also feel hotter.
Don't forget to factor in the cost of buying the item in the first place too.
We recently did a round-up of the best heated blankets on sale now, and the cheapest was just £19.
And remember, the actual cost of energy will depend on your tariff and how long you use your appliances for.
What other energy bill help is coming?
From October the first, all households will start to receive a £400 energy bill discount.
The payment will be dished out by your energy supplier and will be split across six discounts between October and March next year.
Households will receive a £66 energy bill discount in October and November and a discount worth £67 in December, January, February and March.
Millions of households are in line to get the £150 Warm Home Discount between December and March 2023.
The Household Support Fund is a scheme that was launched in October last year to help Brits pay their way through winter amid a cost of living crisis.
It was only due to run until March, but has since been extended until the end of this month.
Each local authority has can dish out the cash to people in their area and the help available depends on where you live.
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Many councils have published guidance on their websites, so once you know your council, it’s probably best to google and see how to apply.
You can do that using the government’s local council checker tool by inputting your postcode.
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