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Consumers living in fear of their energy bills

The gas and electricity companies have done it again. Increasing their prices just before winter when everyone’s consumption will be at its highest.

On average gas will be rising by 17.4 per cent whilst electricity will see a rise of 10.8 per cent. This has led to many too scared to turn their heating on during the colder months due to the fear of what their energy bill might be.

According to a poll by price comparison site MoneySupermarket.com, six per cent of people say they cannot afford to turn their heating on whilst seventeen per cent say they will wait until it gets really cold.

Scott Byrom, energy expert at the price comparison site said “With the cost of living soaring, particularly driven by higher energy bills, now is not the time to be apathetic, especially as we head into winter where bill payers typically use around 40 per cent of their annual energy consumption during these months”.

How to save on your energy bills this winter

The heat you produce in your home typically escapes via the roof and the walls. A great way to combat this is to install cavity wall insulation and/or loft insulation. Whilst these methods are not cheap there are government grants to help with the cost.

The governments CERT scheme helps those people who are on benefits, over 70 or whose incomes are lower than £16,190 a year by paying the full cost of this type of insulation.

In total having both cavity wall and loft insulation can save the average consumer nearly £300 a year of the gas and electricity bills.

Double glazing is also an effective way of trapping the heat in your home therefore reducing the amount of time you need your heating on.

For those of you with a bit of money spare money you may want to think about home energy production. To install a solar PV system, it can cost between £6000 and £15,000 which will allow you to produce your own electricity and your energy supplier will pay you per KW that you produce.

You will have to move quickly however as the government has just announced that as of the 12th December the amount paid on these feed in tariffs will be halved. Those already on the scheme before that date will remain unaffected.

An easier way to save money is use an energy comparison site to compare prices. “Finding the right tariff means bill payers could save on average £237 per year. For example, the cheapest online tariff available is npower’s Sign Online 24 with annual bills of £1,050 on average, but, for the same price, consumers can protect themselves against future price rises with either EDF Energy’s Fix for 2012 tariff with bills fixed at £1,050 until December 31st 2012, or OVO Energy’s New Energy Fixed product which is a set price for 12 months from the point the deal is taken out” said Scott Byrom.

If you are worried about your energy usage this year then invest in a home energy monitor. In this video from MoneySupermarket, Les Roberts discusses the benefits of having the monitor at home and how it can save you money.

4 Comments to Consumers living in fear of their energy bills

  1. November 15, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    In an ideal world we would be building energy efficient housing that is going to be fit for purpose for the whole of the properties lifetime. You only need to look back to the 60’s to see that we didn’t think ahead. If we had invested in our housing stock from the 70’s oil crisis we would all be paying a lot less on our energy bills.

    Retrofitting is most peoples only option, insulating the loft is an easy and obvious thing to do. I’d recommend topping up above the governments recommended 170mm whilst you can still get cheap loft insulation. It is only going to save you more money in the long run.

    I’d also say that getting a cheap plug in energy monitor is a good investment. It enables you to see exactly what electrical appliances are gobbling up those kWh. Think about investing in the most energy efficient appliances when your old appliances need replacing. For example getting the most efficient tumble dryer uses a third less electricity. Over it’s useful lifetime this will save a substantial amount in savings on your electricity bills.

    Just for fun I bet you didn’t know that the harder your vacuum cleaner is working the less energy it uses. Sounds counter-intuitive but you can measure it and see for yourself with a plug in energy monitor.

  2. November 30, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    It is a familiar story about people worrying over their electric bills and then keep the heating off. Then they fall sick and lose a few days of productivity to a cold or flu.

    Home energy monitors are a great idea. I’m wondering if there are any studies done with regards to differences in energy usage before insulation work is done on the house?


  3. December 5, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Using alternative energy can definitely save you a hundred of dollars in your electric bill. Using solar, wind power and other natural sources of energy can help lower our bill at the same time it is safe to our environment.


  4. March 22, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    Most of the people wanted to reduce their electric bill but fail to succeed. Not just your saving money from electrical bill, you’re also helping the mother earth. 🙂


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