The energy industry experts are predicting increases of up to 50% over the next 5 years. The increase is based on the ever increasing cost of coal, gas and oil (resources that are finite and so the price will always increase) plus the need for investment in new infrastructure.
Old nuclear power stations are coming to the end of their lifespan and need to be decommissioned and new ones built. Guess who will be paying for that through increased energy charges and taxes?
Prices will increase even if wholesale prices don’t
Even if wholesale prices remained stagnant your energy bill is going to exceed £2,000 a year by 2020 based on Which? findings. That’s just to cover the cost of the £118 billion infrastructure bill for new power stations. Even the 88,000 electricity pylons dotted around the UK need maintaining and that all goes onto your bill.
This is inevitable. Let me reiterate this: your bills are going to increase. The government has already made the decision on spend and it is happening and you are going to foot the bill.
Will Smart meters save you money?
Smart meters are going to be installed in every home and business. It will mean that meter readings will not have to be taken by the household and should mean more accurate bills and an end to estimated readings.
Unfortunately it is going to cost you around £215 added to your bill to pay for it. On the plus side they claim it will save consumers 2% of their energy usage, although this is based on consumers seeing how much electricity they actually use and trying to cut down. They do not mention however that these new meters will cost you an extra £11 a year because, guess what? They run on electricity.
The Big 6
In order to protect their profits the big energy companies pass on any costs they have to the customer. You can’t blame them really, after all they’re not a charity and they didn’t get this big by caring for their customers. If they cared they wouldn’t leave their existing customers waiting on the phone for up to 13 minutes at a time.
What to do about energy prices
With six energy companies controlling over 90% of the domestic energy market it can feel like you are powerless to change anything. The fact is that you can do something to reduce the amount you pay out on gas and electricity.
There are well over 40,000 homes using our free solar panels and thousands of customers with our gas boilers and wood pellet boilers. Many customers on our Facebook page are regularly posting messages on how much they are saving, many managing to halve their bills with solar and reduce their gas usage with our energy efficient boilers.
You’ve probably heard the advice, turn down the thermostat or put on a jumper if it’s cold. However these probably aren’t the pearls of wisdom you want when your heating bill increases every year and the news from energy companies is that they are going to implement double digit increases just in time for winter.
Cut lighting costs, forever
Not everyone can or wants to turn down the heating but if you cut your lighting costs by 90% you could spend those savings on heating without increasing your overall energy bill spend. Changing your lighting to energy efficient lighting is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways of reducing your bills.
Stop losing heat through the roof
The colder it is outside the more gas your boiler has to burn to keep your home at the same temperature. The greater the temperature difference between the inside and outside the more energy you are going to lose through your roof, walls, floors and via draughty doors and windows.
If you haven’t already installed the recommended 270mm of loft insulation then doing so will mean your boiler doesn’t have to work as hard and you save more. Insulating your loft is easier than insulating the walls and floors and generally more cost effective. You can install greater levels of insulation in the loft but the financial returns diminish. Like putting on two coats, sure you will be warmer but not twice as warm.
Fewer draughts mean greater savings
Draughts aren’t a problem in summer, but in winter when you are paying to heat the air inside your home you do not want that air leaking out and being replaced by cold winter draughts. Draught proofing is a job that is relatively easy to do by fitting draught excluders around doors, windows and loft hatches. You can also seal up those cracks around door and window frames and around skirting boards that could also be leaking air.
Draughts also have the effect of making you feel colder than it actually is in the room.
Switching energy suppliers
According to official government statistics there are fewer people switching suppliers now than there were 10 years ago. The general trend indicates fewer still may consider looking for a better deal in future.
Many may see switching as pointless, it may appear to be too complicated or people just haven’t got the time or can’t be bothered.
If you could get a better deal elsewhere why not switch. If you don’t want to switch then why not call your current supplier to see if you are on the best deal they offer. If you can pay by direct debit suppliers also tend to have better deals.
Taking the long term view on saving energy
Whilst switching suppliers and not wasting energy will save you so much the fact is that prices are always going to increase. The oil, gas and coal we are burning today that took millions of years to form is being consumed by us at an alarming rate.
BP itself estimates that the world reserves will be exhausted in 50 to 100 years. It means that as population and demand grows and supplies dwindle we can expected our fuel bills to sky-rocket.
You may say it’s just scaremongering and ‘they will always find new reserves’. The fact is that fossil fuels are finite, the population is growing and demand is growing. You only need to look at your bills to see the pattern.
Unfortunately the UK is in the unenviable position of having little in the way of fuel reserves which is why we import a large percentage of all our energy. This leaves us vulnerable to increases. In contrast Iran has the largest natural gas reserves and fourth largest crude oil reserve.
Switching to solar
Solar panels are part of the answer but even we cannot install solar panels onto the homes of the 28 million energy consuming households in the UK. We’ve installed on over 40,000 homes and whilst this may seem like a drop in the ocean, it is significant for our customers with average savings of 37% and a significant number of customers halving their electricity bills.
The most recent statistics on carbon emission show record levels of carbon being released into the atmosphere contributing to man made climate change. A Shade Greener panels are generating millions of kWh worth of free electricity for our customers to use but also displaces many thousands of tonnes of CO2 every year.
We started A Shade Greener when no-one believed solar could work in the UK and no-one believed us when we offered to install panels on their homes for free. We are now the biggest free solar installer and one of the few ways for people to genuinely reduce their energy bills whilst making a positive impact on the planet.