Energy bills are rising in the UK, putting pressure on many household budgets. And it seems there is no respite in sight, as bills are forecast to rise even further in 2022.
With this in mind, metalwork treatment experts Jenolite have carried out research on how families can save money on energy costs. They’ve found that by making some improvements around the home, homeowners can save nearly £1,500 on their annual energy bill. Here is everything you need to know.
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Why are energy bills going up?
A five-fold increase in global wholesale gas prices this year is largely to blame for the rise in energy bills.
In response to the rising wholesale prices, Ofgem, the official regulator of the energy market in the UK, raised the energy price cap last month. The energy price cap essentially limits the amount that suppliers can charge their customers for energy.
For those on the standard default tariff (about 11 million households), the price cap is now £1,277 per year, an increase of £139 or 12%. For customers on prepayment tariffs (around four million households), the price cap has increased by £153 to £1,309.
In a nutshell, 15 million UK households are facing an increase of 12%-13% in their energy bills.
According to one research firm, if wholesale energy prices continue to rise, costs might jump by as much as 30% by next summer.
Some energy providers have not been able to cope with the rising wholesale energy prices and have already gone bust.
How can households save on their energy costs?
According to Jenolite, UK homeowners could save £1,497 annually on their energy bills by making home improvements. These improvements include:
- Maintaining boilers and making sure that they are working correctly, which could save you £245 annually on your energy bill.
- Replacing old radiators, which could save you up to £370 a year.
- Ensuring that your windows are well-sealed, which could save you £192 a year.
- Adding underfloor heating to make savings of approximately £240 a year.
Regular home maintenance and improvements can also prevent further issues and damage that could prove costly in the long run.
- Checking for and fixing leaky pipes. Leaky pipes can be easily fixed by using a suitable sealant, which costs around £13, and a pipe bandage that costs about £22.
- Regularly servicing boilers to reduce the chances of them breaking and needing to be replaced or repaired. It costs around £80 a year to service a boiler, whereas replacing one could cost you north of £1,500.
- Checking windows are properly sealed to prevent water from getting in. If water gets in via broken seals, this can result in frames becoming damaged and moldy. Replacing a whole window and frame could cost you as much as £1,200.
The full findings of the research can be found on Jenolite’s website.
Can I get help with my energy bills?
If you are finding it hard to keep up with your energy bills even after making home improvements, the good news is that you might be able to get financial support.
You could be eligible for the Warm Home Discount, for example. This is a one-off payment of £140 to help people on a low income or pension with the cost of energy during winter. The payment is usually added as a credit to your energy account at some point between October and April.
If you were born on or before 26 September 1955, you could also be entitled to the Winter Fuel Payment, an annual tax-free benefit worth between £100 and £300 to help with your heating costs.
Your supplier might also be able to offer other types of assistance. This could include grants, debt relief, and even payment breaks or more time to pay your bills. So, if you are having problems paying your bills, don’t hesitate to reach out.