Another warm summer is upon us and between the Ashes and Wimbledon, we are trying to make the most of it.
That’s until the bombshell that the Big Six has been over-charging users for the past five years! British Gas, SSE, Npower, EDF, Eon, and Scottish Power were found to have overcharged loyal customers to the tune of 1.5 billion over the last 5 years.
Because most homeowners would rather avoid the perceived stress of shopping around for better deals and switching, the Big Six has managed to charge users up to 5% more. This overcharging affected loyal households who stuck with the same company in the time period.
Rewarding loyalty with higher bills isn’t the best business model, but who is to blame? Some blame the ‘monopoly’ the Big Six enjoy. Others blame the lack of education among the general public on their choices.
With energy firms posting profits, and your energy bills increasing, isn’t it time you looked for a way around sky-high bills?
The Government offers a number of schemes to help homeowners, two of which are:
- If you decide to go the switching route, Ofgem offers a list of accredited comparison websites. These have been vetted as trusted sources of information with no conflict of interest. Note that switching providers can take up to six weeks to come into effect.
- The Green Deal, an initiative by the Government to offer loans for energy-efficient home improvements, like insulation, double-glazing or solar panels. While there has been almost £ 2 billion paid out till date, many users complain that the process takes too long due to red tape.
If you apply for any of these, while waiting, you can still find other ways to reduce your energy bill. The most obvious one is to find ways to reduce energy usage. This doesn’t involve binning the telly or washing machine. You can keep your appliances, but focus your attention on your usage behaviour and the home itself.
Making your home consume less energy and becoming more efficient, involves an upfront cost, but you’ll recoup this in savings on energy bills over time. On the cheaper end of the scale, a simple method like:
- Drying the washing outside in the garden reduces the need to run the dryer, leading to reduced electricity usage. The fresh air and summer sun will have clothes dry and smelling fresh in no time. If it rains, run a washing line in your garage instead.
Other methods include:
- Insulating tanks and pipes, simple DIY jobs that will cost around £10 in materials. But these can save up to £ 60 per annum.
- Insulate lofts, floors, and wall cavities in homes built post-1920. These help retain warmth; reducing the need to crank the heating up.
- Doors can lose a lot of heat through leakage and conduction. Be sure to check the door frame seals for any rips or holes; a well-fitting door can save you up to £45 annually.
- Ditto for windows; ensure windows are double or even triple glazed to reduce the need to have the heating on.
In May, the Energy minister Amber Rudd, said she planned to ‘unleash a new solar revolution’.
How she plans to drum up the waning government support from three years ago remains to be seen. While the cost of installing solar panels has reduced, the feed-in tariff has also gone down.
But households can still make an average of £700 per annum from the energy savings. Whether you can afford a solar panel or simply plan to close your doors more, with a little ingenuity and restraint, we can reduce energy wastage and our bills. For the installation of well-insulated patio doors with glass treated to keep your home cool, contact SRL Limited today.