As winter arrives and the thermostat is turned up a few notches, thoughts turn once again to how much we spend our energy consumption. Over the last few years, energy prices in the UK have grown far beyond the rate of inflation, to the extent that the average dual fuel bill (gas and electricity) for a UK household in 2013 is £1315. On top of this, most of the major energy suppliers have announced price hikes, and to make matters worse, there have been predictions that this winter will be colder than average. There has never been a better time to think about cutting down on the amount you spend on gas and electricity. Here are some top ways of reducing your home energy costs.
Get a smart meter
This handy device is able to tell you exactly how much energy you are using, and when, and it can give you real-time accurate data on costs. The information is displayed in pounds and kilowatts on a portable screen, and you can also see your current usage compared with previous days, weeks and months.
While a smart reader is not in itself able to reduce your energy costs, there is little doubt among energy experts that when people understand exactly how much they are using, and spending, they will become more efficient and economical in their consumption habits. The government is planning to roll these devices out nationally from autumn 2015, but you can save yourself some energy costs sooner by getting one now. (image courtesy of www.efergy.com)
Just because you have always used one particular energy supplier, that doesn’t mean that they are offering you the best deal available. Energy suppliers are constantly trying to outdo each other and to attract more customers, which means that you have a good chance of saving yourself a lot of money by switching to an alternative supplier that is currently offering a better deal.
In fact, many people save as much as £140 per year simply by changing their gas and electricity suppliers. Thanks to the internet, comparing suppliers’ tariffs and special offers has never been easier, and making the switch from one company to another is a lot less hassle than you might think.
Make home improvements
There is a great deal you can do to your property that will help to reduce your home energy costs. If you do not have them already, double glazing windows and doors, as well as insulated roofs and walls, can make a huge impact on your gas and electricity bills.
You might also consider adding a renewable energy source to your home. Solar panels and heat pumps are effective green measures that drastically cut down on energy bills, and the government is keen to help homeowners adopt these technologies with a range of schemes and financial incentives, including the Green Deal, the Feed-in Tariff and the Renewable Heat Incentive – see Renewable Energy for more information.
On a more basic level, you can do a lot to cut down on the amount you spend on your home’s energy costs by simply adding draught excluders, wearing warmer clothes indoors and making sure that lights and appliances are switched off when you don’t need them.