Autumn is turning, winter is on the horizon! We are all putting off turning our heating on until we absolutely have to! And if you are an energy customer of the ‘big six’ you will no doubt have had a letter over the course of the last year giving you details of a forthcoming increase in their energy prices! It’s not much to look forward to is it!
I had resigned myself back in March, when I received mine, that the increase in my energy costs was inevitable and that wherever I looked I would be faced with similar prices.
As an ‘over-payer’, I pre-budget and pre-pay and only feel in control when I am in credit – but the down side of this is that you tend not to notice the change in prices as obviously much as others might.
However, when I looked over my most recent bill I noticed that once again, my electricity payments were making a creep upwards! My bills are still relatively low because I am lucky enough to live in an energy efficient house, but still, this latest price rise made me take some action! Here’s how I went about keeping my costs down! It may seem obvious, but as a certain infamous pick pocket once said (no relation to energy companies of course) it’s always worth reviewing the situation!
Pay Less for What You Use – Switching Suppliers!
Every year I re-evaluate my car insurance! But I don’t usually do the same with my energy! Comparison sites are brilliant as it make it so easy for us to see how we get a better deal – and low and behold, with a little comparison work, I found out I could save a whopping £190/year!!!
It is ridiculously simple. All you need is your average energy consumption for your electricity and gas, easily found on your energy bill. A good thing to note is your TCR (tariff comparison rate) – you can use this to compare the energy cost per kWh from one provider to another, again, this is on your energy bill. Plug this into the comparison site and it is easy as pie. The best deals pop up before your very eyes.
Some providers will work with the comparison site so a few clicks and you are done! Don’t be deterred by a provider that requires you to go to their site to sign up, often the smaller independent providers, as the process takes just five minutes to complete so there is no reason not to, and they often offer the best deals.
The change is then all done by the providers – you take an accurate meter reading when your new supplier asks you to. The transition is then relatively seamless and handled within the two companies. You need to pay the balance/get a refund from your old supplier and then off you go. Cheaper fuel prices and satisfaction at a job well done!
The comparison service that we used was www.comparethemarket.com! We were quite pleased with ourselves for not ending up with a Meerkat! We really don’t need any more soft toys!
Other comparison services include:
or search ‘energy switch’
Use Less Fuel – Can You Reduce Your Energy Consumption?
If making the change is a bit scary, or if you just don’t have the time (but it really does only take a few minutes) then why not take a look around your home! What is plugged in or turned on in the room? How can we reduce our consumption? It may surprise you to know, that on the whole improvements in efficiencies of electrical appliances has reduced our average consumption, but the increased number of things that are plugged in has increased so we don’t notice the change. Here are our ‘top tips’!
- Be aware of your usage and if you can install a smart meter then why not? It may stop you boiling the kettle three times before you pour out the water!
- Educating the future generations on consumption is most certainly key! Keep on nagging them to turn that light off, switch that gadget off, and not leave the tap running!!
- Don’t charge up your phone until you need it, firstly by draining the battery as much as you can, the better your battery will last, and secondly you use less energy charging it up.
- If you have gas, make sure your boiler is serviced so it is working at its optimum!
- If you can invest in better insulation – do it! It really does make a massive difference.
- Don’t overload your loft with ‘stuff’ – insulation relies on air pockets for its effectiveness, if you compress it you reduce its capacity to work at its optimum.
- Improve your thermostat – why settle for just heating on and off when you can have different temperature settings for different times of the day? and different days of the week to better suit your lifestyle? No brainer really!
- While cooking, the smaller you cut up your food, the greater the surface area, the faster it will cook!
By making small changes you may see a small change in your energy bill, but more importantly you will reduce consumption and make a more positive environmental change.
So go on, don’t settle for ever increasing prices when the change is literally at your fingertips. Give it a go and let us know how you get on!