There’s no denying that UK households are facing an energy crisis.
After the latest price hikes on 1st of April, average bills for customers of the Big Six energy companies have gone up by £700 in just one year to £1,400 per year ; an increase of around 10%. However, this isn’t the end of it; further price hikes are expected over the next year as coal-powered plants are shut down and more gas is imported to meet demand.
What you should do if you’re struggling financially during the energy crisis
If you are worried about the ability to maintain your home’s heat or electric supply, call the Citizens Advice Bureau, as they are here to help. They can give you information on what services you can apply to be eligible for, settle your debts if they pile up; and refer you to any support services nearby.
You might be able to get some grants and benefits, for example:
- Energy bill support scheme: All households will get £400 off their energy bill, how you claim this money depends on how you pay your bill.
- Council tax rebates: Council tax may be able to refund you £150.
- Warm Homes Discount: For those on a low income, you may be eligible to receive a £140 credit to your energy bill or £140 worth of electric power credits, but it depends on which plan you are on.
- Winter Fuel Payment: If you were born on or before 26 September 1955 you can usually claim some money every year to help you pay for heating in the winter.
- Cold weather payments: People on benefits and pensions can get an extra payment when the weather gets very cold.
- Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) is a UK Government initiative to encourage more people in England and Wales to install low carbon heating systems, such as heat pumps and biomass boilers
What might be causing the increases
Energy prices have soared over the last year, as a result of the global pandemic, the war in Russia/Ukraine and due to inflation of the British Pound. Many situations have a knock-on effect, and so when the price of gas is increased before being imported to Britain, the consumers will find they have more to pay to purchase. This is just one of the many reasons why so many households are looking to upgrade their heating systems so they can maintain lower monthly payments on their energy spend; and find their money stretches a little bit further this winter time.
How you can save money on fuel while still keeping warm
The majority of people seem to think that setting the thermostat to one temperature and leaving it there and leaving it there all day is better for energy savings. But, this doesn’t apply to your home if it has been dormant for more than eight hours. By turning your thermostat down while you’re at work or asleep, you could be gaining added energy savings. For ways to manage your thermostat to gain added savings:
- Keep your thermostat at an ideal setting. The closer your indoor temperature is to the outdoor temperature, the less work your heater has to do to heat your home. Taking these measures will save you a significant amount on your yearly energy bill.
- Lower the temperature by 5 degrees when you’re not using it for 8 hours or more. The amount of energy saved increases by 1% every degree the thermostat is lowered. Therefore, lowering the temperature 10 degrees for periods of 8 hours or more will result in a 5% energy savings.
- Maintain Your Heat System to Ensure Efficiency. If you haven’t performed seasonal maintenance to your boiler system or hot water pipes, your system may not be working to its full potential. This will not only cause your heater to work harder to maintain the temperature you desire, but will also increase your energy bill.
- Upgrade Your Thermostat to a Smart Thermostat. With a thermostat that you can program you can customise your temperature settings to automatically change at certain times of the day, where ever you are from just a click on your phone. That way you can enjoy energy savings throughout the month and only have to set your thermostat once!
Ways you can reduce your electricity usage during the energy crisis
Follow these tips for easy ways to conserve energy and decrease your monthly energy bill. No matter who you are; a homeowner, private renter, a student, or someone who lives with parents, there are many things you can do. We are all accountable for the energy we use at home. Look at these quick tips to see how you can start saving:
Switch off standby
You can save around £55 a year just by remembering to turn your appliances off standby mode. Almost all electrical appliances can be turned off at the plug without upsetting their programming. You may want to think about getting a standby saver or smart plug which allows you to turn all your appliances off standby in one go. Check the instructions for any appliances you aren’t sure about. Some satellite and digital TV recorders may need to be left plugged in so they can keep track of any programmes you want to record. Find out which appliances use most energy in your home.
Draught-proof windows and doors
Unless your home is very new, you will lose some heat through draughts around doors and windows, gaps around the floor, or through the chimney. Professional draught-proofing of windows, doors and blocking cracks in floors and skirting boards can cost around £225, but can save around £45 a year on energy bills. DIY draught proofing can be much cheaper. Find out more about reducing home heat loss.
Turn off lights
Turn your lights off when you’re not using them or when you leave a room. This will save you around £20 a year on your annual energy bills. Replacing all the lights in your home with LED bulbs could help you save even more.
Careful with your washing
You can save around £28 a year from your energy bill just by using your washing machine more carefully: Use your washing machine on a 30-degree cycle instead of higher temperatures.
Reduce your washing machine use by one run per week for a year.
Avoid the tumble dryer
Avoiding using a tumble dryer for your clothes: dry clothes on racks inside where possible or outside in warmer weather to save £60 a year.
Spend less time in the shower
Keeping your shower time to just 4 minutes could save a typical household £70 a year on their energy bills.
Swap your bath for a shower
Some of us might enjoy a long soak in the bath, but swapping just one bath a week with a 4-minute shower could save you £12 a year on your energy bills. Find out how saving water at home can help your wallet and the environment.
Be savvy in the kitchen
Kettles are one of the most used appliances in the kitchen. But many of us will admit that we at least occasionally boil the kettle with more water than we’re going to use. Avoid overfilling the kettle and save yourself £11 a year on your electricity bill.
You could also consider fitting an aerator onto your existing kitchen tap to reduce the amount of water coming out without affecting how it washes or rinses. An aerator is a small gadget with tiny holes – they attach to the spout of taps and are cheap and easy to install – and could save you £25 a year.
Fill your dishwasher
Only run your dishwasher when it is full to reduce the amount of water you use. Reducing your dishwasher use by one run per week for a year could save you £14.
Top up the insulation
Effective insulation of your hot water cylinder is important, even if you have thin spray foam or a loose 25mm jacket, you can benefit from increasing the insulation to a British Standard Jacket 80mm thick, saving £35 a year in the process. Insulating your water tank, pipes and radiators is a quick and easy way to save money on your bills.
Recommendations from experts – how your lifestyle could be more eco-friendly
Clean energy, also known as renewable energy, comes from the earth’s natural resources. These resources include solar energy, wind, ocean waves, the tides, and geothermal heat. It has two great advantages unlike fossil fuels, it will never run out, it’s clean; unlike fossil fuels, it does not pollute the planet or cause climate change.
This renewable energy can provide power to major cities that have electric grid, or villages that have no electric connection. And so a power plant could be close to where it is needed; meaning the range of energy sources will be suitable almost anywhere.
We have some of the best renewable sources of energy in the world and we’ve been harvesting them for centuries. Even solar power is important; solar panels are more efficient in direct sunlight, but can generate power even on a cloudy day. New developments in battery storage mean renewable energy can be used even when the wind isn’t blowing or the sun isn’t shining. This allows the UK to play a major role in future technological innovation; providing jobs and driving costs down more.
Take a look and get a quote from us today about how you can take the first step to a greener home!