We’re all bracing ourselves for massive fuel bills this winter following this week’s grim warning that gas and electricity costs will soon be turned up.
It’s anticipated that energy prices will jump by a whopping 25 per cent in the coming months, which could see average bills rise by as much as £200 to almost £1,500.
Although consumer groups have urged energy companies to hold back on price hikes to see if the recent fallback in the oil price is sustained, that’s unlikely to be the case due to the increase in the wholesale price of gas and power says Centrica, owner of British Gas.
Here are 10 ways to take the sting out of the rises:
- Householders should look at switching to a cheaper energy supplier and consider fixing their bills, as six of the lowest tariffs have been pulled in anticipation of higher costs.
- Take advantage of the feed-in tariffs (FITs) and start producing your own electricity. In the last year 28,000 solar PV installations have been installed. The scheme guarantees a minimum payment for all electricity generated, as well as a separate payment for the electricity exported to the grid plus savings to your bill, giving a total average saving of around £1,170 per year.
- Remembering to switch off lights, wash clothes at lower temperatures and turn the thermostat down by just one degree will save you money.
- Simple D-I-Y improvements such as draught proofing letterboxes and keyholes, thermally lining curtains, installing low energy bulbs, fixing foil panels behind radiators to reflect the heat back into the room and putting a jacket on your hot water tank will help cut bills.
- Take advantage of some of the grants being offered by utility providers and local authorities, for free or subsidised loft and cavity wall insulation. Visit the Energy Savings Trust grant finder http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/Easy-ways-to-stop-wasting-energy/Energy-saving-grants-and-offers/Grants-and-Discounts-Database
- If you have solid walls and a healthy budget insulate them, as this is where a third of your heat is lost.
- Replace old energy hungry appliances, like fridge/freezers and washing machines with the best energy saving models.
- When cooking use microwaves, steamers and pressure cookers rather than conventional ovens, which use lots of energy.
- Use an energy monitor to keep track of where your energy is going and which appliances are the most expensive to run.
- Apply for the Government’s ‘Green Deal’ and reduce bills by making energy saving improvements in the home. Under the scheme around 14 million households will receive up to £10,000 to spend on things like installing loft and wall insulation, energy efficient boilers, under floor heating and double glazing. The customer will repay the fee in small instalments levied on their electricity and heating bills over 25 years.