By now, you have probably heard about the energy crisis currently causing problems for the UK. Unfortunately, this crisis is having a significant impact on energy prices and gas in particular. What this means is that almost every household in the UK is going to see an increase in their energy bills.
What is the Energy Crisis?
Since the start of 2021, energy prices have surged by as much as 250% and since August, they have risen by 70% and this has put a lot of pressure on UK suppliers.
Why Has There Been an Increase in the Price of Gas?
There are several factors that have caused an increase in gas prices. This ranges from a cold winter which meant that stock levels were depleted as well as an increase in demand for liquified natural gas from Asia and a drop in supplies from Russia.
Blame has also been placed on the pandemic and now, the situation that the UK finds itself in is unprecedented. The main reasons behind the crisis are complex and are not driven by one factor alone such as an increase in demand from customers following the pandemic.
How Will Your Bills Be Affected?
Unfortunately, Ofgem has said that households can expect to see an average rise of £135 this winter although the real price that you will pay will be down to the deal you have in place. Prices were already going to rise for 15 millions households that are on the default tariff as there is a big hike in the energy price cap. The rise was criticised by the regulator Ofgem with the change coming into force from the 1st October, although the price cap is now considered to be one of the better deals currently available. Many customers also find themselves locked in to deals and that will give them fixed prices for the duration of their contract. So, if your contract is coming to an end then you are likely going to need to move to a deal that is more expensive.
So, if prices are going to increase and there is not a lot you can do, there are a few steps you can take to try and get your prices down where possible. So, let’s take a look at what you can do to give yourself the best chance of paying less than is necessary.
Switch Energy Supplier
Cheap energy deals are a thing of the past and in recent months, they have disappeared. Despite this, it is still worth comparing gas prices to see if you are on the right deal. If you haven’t switched for some time then you are likely to be paying higher, out-of-contract prices which means that deals could be available. Standard or default tariffs will also be increasing from the 1st of October, as the price cap for these tariffs will be increasing. Some comparison sites have even suspended their services because there is a lack of cheap tariffs although this doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. So, it might be worth checking what comparison sites are still operating and if not, you might want to speak with suppliers directly to see what they can offer.
Install Smart Heating Controls
This is all about taking back control of how and when you use your heating. We all have different habits and the days of setting a rigid timer for your heating to come on and turn off are a thing of the past. Smart thermostats and radiator valves are now giving you the potential to save money. These controls will enable you to control when your heating and hot water come on. You can set it to only come on in certain rooms at certain times of the day or you can set it to come on when you begin your journey home which is known as geofencing. This means that if you set your heating to come on at 4 pm during the winter and your work meeting overruns by two hours, you won’t waste two hours worth of heating. This element of control can help you to drive down costs as much as possible by managing how you use your heating.
Insulate Your Home
Insulating your home is one of the best things you can do. Some properties might need cavity wall insulation while others might need to improve their loft insulation or even change both. Whatever it might be, it can help you to save a lot of money each year. Both options will prevent or reduce heat loss from the walls and the loft which means that your home stays warmer for longer. If you lay loft insulation with a thickness of 270mm, you could save up to 150mm from your bills. Insulating cavity walls could also help you to save up to £165.
Get a New Gas Boiler
This is actually one of the better options because half of what you spend on energy each year will be spent on heating. If you have an old boiler or a boiler that is inefficient, a new boiler installation could have a positive impact on your bills. If you have an old G-rated gas boiler and choose to upgrade it to an A-rated condensing model which also has a room thermostat, a programmer and thermostatic radiator valves, you could save up to £205 which makes getting a new boiler installation quote worthwhile. That saving is based on a semi-detached home but if you live in a detached home, that could be increased to £315 for the year.
If you want to improve efficiency, then you could look at a condensing boiler as they capture waste heat that is released from flue, using it to then heat the water that returns from your heating system. Many people believe that a new boiler is expensive but this is not always the case. It is always worth getting a new gas boiler installation quote to see how much it will cost and with combi boiler finance available, your new boiler could cost as little as £9.99 per month.
There is no denying that changes are coming and bills are going to become more expensive. However, there are still a number of things that we can do to help keep our bills as low as possible. Making smarter choices and better decisions such as replacing your boiler and installing smart controls will help you to reduce costs but also do your bit for the environment, which is another issue we are all tackling together.
For more information about our new boiler pay monthly scheme, get in touch with Prime Time Boilers today.