One of the big stories to come out at the end of last week was the warning from the energy regulator Ofgem that average household energy bills could reach as much as £2,000 by 2016. The current average is £1,200, so that represents a massive 60% increase in just 7 years, and prices have already doubled in the last 5 years. There have also been some worst case scenarios by uSwitch suggesting that prices could go as high as £5,000 per year, 4 times the current average.
There are several reasons for these price rises including recent events in Russia, where much of our gas is imported from, and Britain having ageing coal-fired power stations but not enough nuclear power stations ready to replace them.
Given these inevitable price rises, what should you do to help keep costs down?
Well, for starters, there are a few things that you could look into doing around your home – some of which might mean spending money initially, but will hopefully save you money in the future.
Insulate Your Home
If it isn’t done already, you could stop losing so much heat through your roof (25% of heat is lost this way) or through the walls (35% this way) by getting your house properly insulated. This doesn’t have to cost that much, as there are currently some good deals available on loft insulation, plus you may be able to get a Government grant to insulate your home.
Get A Better Boiler
If you’ve got a boiler that’s a few years old, then you could benefit from forking out for a new, more efficient model. A new boiler could set you back quite a bit (plus there’s the installation etc), but new boilers can be as much as 30% more economic than an old one, and so in the space of a few years it should pay for itself (especially if prices continue to rise).
By the way, if you want peace of mind during the cold winter months, you may want to consider getting your boiler and/or central heating covered for repairs with Homeserve, who are currently offering a discount of up to 25%.
Find The Cheapest Tariff
It’s always good to shop around to find the cheapest prices, and gas and electricity are no exception. Most of the big comparison websites now offer a tool for finding the cheapest energy provider for your requirements. It will help if you’ve got an idea of your usage patterns, so have you recent gas/electricity bills to hand when searching online, as these should help you get a more accurate quote based on your needs.
Before you do so, you may want to read this recent article on gas and electricity best buy tables and comparison sites.
Gas Saving Tips
As well as these larger-scale projects you can complete to prepare your house for the cold, we gave a few ideas for saving gas a couple of years ago.
What are your favourite tips for saving gas or electricity or for reducing your energy bills? Let us know in the comments below.
photo credit: shimgray
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