With the recent cold spell affecting many homes in the UK over the last week, it has brought me to pose a simple question, Are you pay too much?
Home energy can be one of the most expensive yearly domestic bills if they are not monitored and reviewed on a regular basis. Many people just take their heating for granted and forget just how much it is costing them. We go out to work and come home as an everyday routine and if your house is warm when you leave it or return, that’s all there is to it.
In this case, ignorance is not bliss as you could be literally burning money that you could easily be saved. The first main area to look at when ensuring that you are paying as little as you need is to constantly review the contract that you are on. If you have been with the same supplier for many years, then you could be paying way too much for your domestic heating bills. A simple look at a comparison website could save you hundreds over the year for the same energy that you are using.
Many energy suppliers offer tremendous savings for fixed tariffs over a certain period, but if you forget to renew or review your contract, you will revert to their main tariff charges and ultimately lose any savings you have made over the initial period. Dual fuel tariffs are also a very good way of reducing your bills as many supplier’s welcome new customers for both utilities rather than just one.
You should also be aware of the new way that your suppliers take extra money from you in the method of charging for payments made other than direct debit. Nearly all suppliers now charge a non-DD fee of up to £3.50 a month, which hikes your yearly bill by an additional £42 a year. Remember £3.50 doesn’t sound that much but it does add up over your contract period. Once you are happy that you are on the best tariff with the best supplier that’s suitable for you, then there are still many ways that you can lower your monthly bills which will save you a fortune over the year.
There are many hints and tips available to search for on the net to make your home more energy efficient. There are also certain grants out there that would allow you to insulate your home through loft and wall cavity insulation. The Government offers this incentive if your current insulation material falls below the UK recommended levels. Insulating your home correctly will massively reduce your heating bills and keep your home warmer for longer.
There are also many myths, that if followed will cost you money rather than save it. Some people believe that if it feels much colder outside when you come home from work and you turn up your heating then the house would heat up faster. This is not the case the house would still heat up at the same rate but would just heat up to a higher temperature. If you then forget to turn your thermostat down after the current cold spell, your house will be heated to the higher temperature until you remember to turn it down thus costing you much more overall.
If you maintain your house temperature at a level that is bearable, let’s say set at 22 degrees then irrespective of how cold it is outside your house will remain at the temperature you set. Your boiler would just work a little harder to maintain that temperature as the outside temperature will make your house colder. You should always ensure that your internal doors are kept closed where possible as this will ensure that no heat is lost, and a convection current can help circulate the heat.
If you are currently renting your property and are paying for high energy bills, then you are entitled to change the supplier for the duration that you are in the property. This is because you are paying the bill and not the landlord. The landlord can not make you pay for a higher tariff just because they want to use British Gas if there is another supplier out there that offers a better deal. The only time that you may not be able to change suppliers is if you are on a prepayment meter and would like to change to a credit meter.
As you can see, a few simple tweaks to your current contract and taking advantage of the hints, tips and free insulation that is available can really help you make savings and massively reduce the amount you are spending each year on your energy bills.