It’s a worrying time for UK consumers as energy prices seem set to increase across the board. Of the big six energy suppliers in the UK, only two are yet to announce price increases. Though Prime Minister David Cameron announced plans to force gas and energy suppliers to give customers the cheapest tariff (October 17th), we are yet to learn how this will work.
As we head into the coldest time of the year, UK consumers have identified energy prices as the “biggest threat” to their household finances over the coming year, according to a new report from YouGov. The Household Economic Activity Tracker (HEAT) found that households rated the importance of rising energy prices above even unemployment and the subject of state benefits.
Joe Twyman, YouGov Director of Political and Social Research, said: “The degree to which consumers are worried about energy prices compared to things like unemployment is particularly interesting and is a reflection of the fact that the rise in energy prices this winter in something that is going to affect everyone.”
One side effect of rising prices is a bolstering interest in energy saving, and making saving a priority will help homeowners to get the most from their money.
In the average household the central heating system is responsible for 60 per cent of energy use, so if you have an old or inefficient system now is the time to consider updating it. You could even receive financial help form the government in doing so (see here). If a new boiler is completely out of the question, better programming and closer control over your existing one could help you on your way to more efficient heating. If your thermostat is over 12 years old, The Energy Saving Trust recommend you consider installing new models, as controls are now far more accurate. If you’ve never quite got to grips with programming your heating system it’s well worth taking some time out getting to know it properly so that you can set timers and room thermostats, for more information see here.
Prepping radiators to be as energy efficient as possible can help you direct heat where and when you need it. Traditionally radiators have been positioned under windows to encourage an air current back into the room, but if you have double glazing there is no real restriction on where you position the radiators. The key thing is to make sure there are no obstructions stopping the heat your radiators are pumping out from coming into the room. Bleeding your radiators stops trapped air or gas from reducing the temperature and it’s easy to do. It’s a common myth that leaving your radiators on all day will result in lower energy use, but unless you have a very efficient home this is likely to be an expensive policy with high wastage.
Finally, don’t forget to make sure you are doing your best to keep the heat you are generating in the room by making the most of insulation techniques.
This post is published in association with Help Link UK, the boiler replacement and new boiler installation specialist.