How can one save on energy bills?

Highlights 

  • Millions of UK households may face a second record rise in the energy bills next spring, over and above the £139 increase due next month.
  • The price surge comes after the global wholesale costs dramatically increased due to global gas crisis.
  • The rise in the prices of energy has increased fears that households may face a significant squeeze in their finances.

Millions of UK households may face a second record rise in the energy bills next spring, on top of the £139 increase due next month as the global wholesale costs dramatically increased due to the recent global gas crisis.

The rise in the prices of energy has increased fears that households may face a significant squeeze in their finances.  From April, even larger energy bill rise is expected if the prices of gas and electricity keeps going up, which could further add between £178 and £294 to the prices of a default dual-fuel energy deal.

It is expected that the price cap could drive energy bills in April 2020 up by 14% increase on the October rise to £1,455 for a typical dual-fuel customer, which is £317 higher per year than current level, said Craig Lowarey, a senior consultant at the Energy advisory Cornwall Insight.

A study by BFY consultants has predicted that the price cap may increase by up to £294, leading to increase in price cap to £1,571. In either of the case, the price may overpass the average dual-fuel energy bill over the last 10 years, which span from a low of £1,117 in 2017 to highs of £1,286 in 2013.

From 1 October, another 12% rise in prices will come into force for around 11 million households that use a default tariff to buy electricity and gas, with cap increasing to a record-high £1,277, up by £139. Further around 4 million households that uses pre-payment meter may expect the rise in their average energy bills from £1,156 to £1,309.

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Following are some of the ways household can use to cut their energy bills:

  • Heating Controls

One should understand their heating system and set them to heat the rooms that are needed at a temperature that they require. Many central heating systems include a room thermostat, timer or programmer and thermostatic radiator valves. Controlling the heating system effectively may help you save £70 per year on energy bills and also reduce carbon emissions.  Simply turning down your heating system by just 1°C can save £80 a year.

Smart heating systems also offers advance features such as it helps to determine exactly when to turn the heating system on and off and automates the controlling.

  • Draught-proofing

Your house may lose heat from the gaps around doors, chimneys and windows, so draught-proofing these areas could save energy and money. You can seal the gaps with plastic seals, strips or brushes which could help you save around £200, based on a typical semi-detached property.

  • Saving energy on water use

In UK, a person uses an average 145 liter of water every day, which is almost 22% of the electric bill. To reduce the energy usage to heat water you may use water saving products. It can reduce your water usage by around 32 liters a day.

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  • Keep appliances off standby

The average UK household spends £35 a year by keeping appliances left on standby. So, switch them off to save energy bills. Also, choose an appliance model with high energy efficiency rating that meet your budget and needs, it will also help you in reducing your house carbon emissions.

  • Washing at a lower temperature

Washing at low temperature and reducing washing helps in cutting your energy bill. Start washing at 30 degrees as it much effective and it is better for the environment and costs less per cycle in terms of energy than a hotter wash.

  • Energy efficient lighting

You may use LED bulbs as they are most durable and efficient lighting technology, and it could also reduce 65 kg of carbon emissions a year.

  • Energy efficient appliances

Reducing the use of dishwasher to one cycle every week may help you in cutting £8 a year on your energy bills. Cooling, cooking, dishwasher and washing machine contribute around 12% of the household energy consumption. You may cut your energy bill by making changes to you habits such as using these appliances in Eco mode. It uses low energy for heating and reduces the amount of water needed while still achieving a satisfactory threshold for dirt removal.

Reducing the use of washing machine to one cycle every week may help you in cutting more £8 a year and filling the kettle with the amount of water that you need can help you in saving further £6 a year.

  • Upgrading your heating system

When you are replacing the old heating system check if you could save money and carbon by purchasing a heating system that produce low carbon, such as a heat pump as they are more efficient than a gas boiler. 

However, they run on electricity, which is more expensive than gas, so take advice to know the efficiency of heat pump and how much it may impact you in energy bills.

If you have electric storage heating, a heat pump will help you in reducing your energy bills and if you can’t bear the expense of fitting one, consider high heat retention storage heaters with smart control.

  • Insulation

Insulations are costly but it can help you in saving much more in the long run and they are more energy efficient. It often makes more sense to upgrade insulation before heating system as it saves energy and enable you to fit a smaller and affordable heating system, which will run more efficiently especially if you switch to low carbon heating.

In UK, most homes have solid walls that could be insulated from outside, inside or cavity walls and helps to save a gas-heated, semi-detached house around 890 kg of carbon emission a year. Using insulation in cavity walls could save a semi-detached home 660 kg of carbon dioxide emissions a year. 

Depending on the house installation, the cost of insulation can be between £520 and £1,300 and can help you in saving 175 kg of carbon emission in semi-detached house,  which can save £40 on your energy bills.

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