According to data from the Telegraph, average household bills have nearly doubled since 2003. It has led the energy regulator, Ofgem to warn that by 2020, the majority of homes in Britain will be living in fuel poverty.
One family, however, decided to fight back. Kara Gammell got fed up with the fact that here energy bills were going up each month, so she took drastic action to cut her bills. She reduced her outgoings from a dizzying £69 a month to just £25 a month, saving her more than £528 a year. But how did she do it?
Don’t Pay “Estimated” Bills
Her first piece of advice is that families avoid paying what the industry calls “estimated” bills. Gammell says that the has been regularly submitted gas and electric meter readings to her energy supplier each month by downloading the company’s app to her phone.
Most people, she says, don’t bother to check whether the bills that they are getting are actually correct and based on what they use. She points out that if your gas and electric meters aren’t regularly read, you could end up paying for a lot more than you actually use, especially if you are trying to actively reduce your consumption.
Don’t Use “Standby”
In her research, Gammell discovered that it wasn’t the big electrical items, like fridges and plasma TVS that drained the most electricity on standby. Instead, it was the smaller items that were costing her a fortune. She had recently bought a heated towel rail, thinking that because of its small size it wouldn’t have much of an impact on her energy bills. But she later found out that it cost her around £10 a month to heat, nearly a sixth of her entire bill. Leaving her coffee machine on standby she realised was costing her another £10 a month, all thanks to the fact that the machine was continuously heating the internal element, preparing for her to make her morning drink.
Use Price Comparison Sites
Gammell says that it is important to use an energy comparison service to find out if you’re on the very best deal. She says that most families could save up to £300 on their energy bills by switching their provider. Despite price rises this year announced or threatened by the six big suppliers, most families can offset those rises by switching to a new provider.
Wrap Up Warm In The Winter
Another thing that Gammell did to reduce her month outgoings was to call the experts in to sort out her home before Christmas. She plugged up all the draughts and installed wooden blinds which she says kept the cold out in the living room and the bedrooms.
She says that there is evidence that draught-proofing your home can result in energy savings of more than £25 a year, or about half the threatened energy cost increases set to afflict UK families this year. Gammell says that she was able to pick up blinds for around £115 a pair and draught excluders from Homebase for just £7.99 for her external door.