The energy companies have done it again. Just as the winter approaches, they have felt the need to increase their prices when consumers’ consumption is at its highest.
With an average price increase on gas of 17.4 per cent and an average increase of 10.8 per cent on electricity, energy supplier look set to rake it in again this year at the expense of the consumer.
According to research by price comparison site moneysupermarket.com, consumers are now both living in fear of turning their heating on and/or arguing amongst themselves on whether to put the heating on or simply put a jumper on.
More than 26 million adults would put on a jumper (sweater) rather than turn their heating on due to the fear of what their bills may look like in the New Year. From 13,700 people, 17 per cent said they would wait until it got really cold before they turned the heating on while six per cent cannot afford to heat their homes.
This is causing arguments up and down the country as 12 per cent admitted to rowing with a family member over turning the heating on too soon. Of those rowing, three quarters admitted that they were concerned about rising energy costs.
Scott Byrom, energy expert at the comparison site said “The temperature may be dropping, but households across the country are getting heated. Arguing over whether to switch on the heating or not seems to be hot on the agenda for struggling bill payers.”
Tips on how to reduce your energy bills
Whilst putting a jumper on may stop the heating going on for now, eventually it will get colder and you will need to turn the heating on.
Instead of arguing about the heating or being worried about what your bill may be, follow these helpful hints on how to reduce your overall consumption this winter and reduce your gas and electricity bills.
• Turn down your thermostat. By reducing the room temperature by just one degree you could save up to 10 per cent off your energy bills.
• Do not leave appliances on standby. They are still using energy and do not leave your computer on ‘sleep’ mode.
• Insulate your home. There are free energy grants available for people to get loft or cavity wall insulation either free or a sizable amount paid for them. Visit the department of energy website here for more details.
• Whereas families need to heat most rooms, couples and singles should only heat the rooms they use the most.
• Where possible switch to energy saving light bulbs.
• When heat escapes from your home, you are effectively losing money. So try and plug up any gaps or holes that are letting a draft in.
• Invest in double glazing. Whilst this can be expensive, not only can it save you £100 a year on your energy bills but it can also increase the value and security of your home.
• When making a brew, only boil the amount of water you need. It will boil a lot quicker thus use less energy.
• Most washing powders are just as effective at 30 degrees nowadays so there is no need to wash your clothes at a higher temperature.
• Finally buy an energy monitor. These allow you to view at any given time exactly how much energy your home is using. You can link this up to your online account with your energy provider and see detailed information on how much you are using and how much it is costing. Have a look at the video below for more information on energy monitors.
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