January tends to be a month for saving money, staying indoors and keeping warm. But with every one of the 'Big Six' energy suppliers now having hiked up prices, even this option is no longer cheap.
Customers of each of the Big Six - that's British Gas, Scottish Power, EDF, E.ON, SSE and npower - will find themselves paying between 6% and 11% more on their fuel bills in 2013, which is already one of the greatest expenses in any household.
To help combat the hikes, we have drawn up a list of the 10 ways you can fight back on cost to the collective tune of £1,000 a year and make sure you get the better of your energy supplier.
1. Switch to a cheaper tariff
The first port of call to fight back on rising energy costs is to shop around for a cheaper tariff using MoneySupermarket's energy comparison tool.
For example, the cheapest available online tariff is currently offered by British Gas. It costs the average household £1,120.29 a year, which provides a healthy saving of £205.90 over its standard tariff (£1,326.19).
However, if you want to shelter yourself from any further potential price hikes, the only option is to take an online fixed rate energy tariff. EDF Blue June 2014 is the current market leader in these stakes, promising no price increases for the next two winters at annual cost of £1,182 for typical energy use. While First Utility is slightly cheaper at an average annual £1,170, this fixed deal is a couple of months shorter.
Switching your energy tariff is a very simple process which involves filling out an online form and waiting between four and six weeks for the change to take effect. Even if the cheapest tariff is from another supplier, it should be hassle-free. After all, unlike other services where new wires or cables need to be laid, your energy will all come through the same pipes. The only thing that will change is the provider's name on your monthly bill.
Bear in mind thought that if you are stuck in a contract with your current supplier, you may have to pay a cancellation fee of around £60 for a dual fuel bill, or £30 for gas and electricity individual bills.