A new study out today is suggesting that more and more UK households will be forced to turn off their heating this winter, due to ever-increasing energy prices. It was estimated that approximately 20% of homes switched off the heating at some time during last winter to save money.
This comes a few days after the Bank of England warned that household energy bills could rise by 15% for both gas and electricity. There interest comes from the perspective of inflation, rather than energy concerns.
The winter 2010/2011 was one of the worst for around 50 years or so and this has been blamed on the higher costs, but also, globally wholesale energy costs have started to rise. The owners of British Gas, Centrica also put out a press release recently, suggesting that bills were about to increase sharply.
So what can be done?
There are a number of things that a household can do to off-set some of these rises in costs.
1) Loft insulation – known to reduce heating cost by 30%
2) Cavity wall insulation
3) Turning the thermostat down a degree or two
4) Install radiator thermostatic valves
5) Eliminate drafts and close curtains at dusk
6) Get the boiler serviced or indeed replaced with a modern super efficient one
Lighting and other electricity usage
1) Turn off unnecessary appliances and lights
2) Use low energy lighting, either low energy bulbs or LED lights
3) Don’t leave anything on stand-by, it consumes more power than you might think
4) Boil just enough water in your kettle
5) Reduce the amount of hot water or overall temperature of baths/showers
6) Install PV panels or Solar thermal panels
There are loads more tips you can follow, most of them are just common sense, take the time to go around your house and think how you could save a little.
Whether we get another cold winter or not and whether the price hikes come or not, is not really the point. It’s going to happen sooner than later. There are loads of energy saving measure you can look at, some cost nothing, just a little bit of effort and others like a new boiler could cost thousands.