Since my last blog, as predicted, other energy companies have raised their prices. This is, of course, not good news for any of us. Following the initial SSE announcement of an 8.2% increase, British Gas followed with 9.2% and Npower have now announced price rises of 10.4 % for a dual-fuel bill. Money supermarket are calling it the domino effect, and I guess none of us are surprised.
At uSwitch.com there is a fine illustration of how energy prices in the last eight years compare to a few other sectors – alcohol has risen by 31%, Water by 50% and Petrol by 66%, so how does that compare with energy? The average household energy bill has risen by a whopping 151%. So this is not a problem that is going away, in fact week by week it is a problem that is affecting more and more of us.
So what can we do? Last week I promised to give you some tips on saving energy and therefore your hard earned cash. This is where we can make a difference.
If these headlines have got you all fired up, as indeed they have me, you are probably thinking well I want to make a start and do something right now!
The good news is that you can start making a difference right away and it won’t cost you anything. In fact this will only take five minutes.
You will need to move away from the screen (I know – not easy).
Walk around your home and start switching things off. Look for any appliances on standby – anything that is not actually working for you, but is still shining a little light. Switch it off.
It has been estimated that the average family could save between £50 and £90 a year just by switching off appliances that are on standby, that’s all of us! Have the kids left the Xbox on?
Is there a mobile phone charger in the wall switched on but not charging a phone? It will still be using electricity.
Are there any lights that have been left on? Leave no socket or bulb unchecked – switch them off. Do this twice a day (especially if you have children).
Now have a play with the heating, take a look at the timing, could you shave an hour off each day? Is your boiler still working hard to heat the house after you have left for work? Think about when you really need the heat and when you don’t.
Likewise can you adjust your radiator temperatures down a little?
Another tip, especially if you are home all day and you do need a warm room, is to remember to keep the internal doors closed. This will keep the heat where you need it. When you leave the living room door open, you could be paying a fortune to heat the landing, where, lets face it, you probably aren’t planning to spend too much time.
Now, turn the room thermostat down by a degree, I promise no one will notice, it will just reflect on your bill. The Energy Saving Trust estimates a saving of around £65 a year.
I know, none of this is rocket science but the first thing we have to change if we want to save money and energy, is our own behaviour. That bit is easy, that is what we can control. Just by being mindful about what we are doing and how much energy is involved we can make a big difference. In a busy life, it’s all too easy to forget the basics!
Next, come back to the screen, go to uswitch.com where you can punch in your postcode and compare your energy bills. You can see at a glance all the latest energy prices and you could save up to £294.
Now, till my next blog, spend the week being mindful. This costs you nothing but saves you a lot, who wouldn’t want that?
Next week let’s save you more!