Energy regulator Ofgem has claimed that millions of people across the UK are set to see rises in energy prices in 2021, with the average increase being around £96 per year. Considering the economic challenges of the COVID-19 lockdown as well as the yearly energy spike that comes with heating homes in winter, many users are now having to find creative ways to bring their bills down and reduce energy costs. Nowhere is this more pronounced than in London, where increased energy rates at any of the “Big six” providers mean that businesses and residential properties are probably paying above the odds. If you’re unhappy with the recent price hikes, here are some ways around the problem.
Switch energy providers
Thankfully, there are many energy providers offering tariffs that are very competitive, if consumers do their homework and seek them out. Now is the perfect opportunity to assess what you’re paying per year and see if there’s not a better deal with another provider. Several comparison sites now give customers the chance to switch and save, for example Money Supermarket or uswitch.com.
Finding a better tariff takes just a few minutes, and the switching process is typically not complicated – simply enter your postcode and get quotes. Some of these sites claim you could save up to £300 by making a smart switch, which is more than enough to offset the 2021 price hike.
Another option is to see whether switching to a green energy provider might prove more economical for you in the long run. Going green is now easier and more convenient than ever before, and has the chance to not only save you money but do something good for the environment in the process. For those who can afford the installation, it may even be an option to consider investing in solar panels to ensure that you are independent of energy price fluctuations for decades to come.
Get an EPC and make adjustments
Though a big energy bill can be an unwelcome surprise, one way to tackle the problem is to take a closer look at your property and how much energy your home is actually using. An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) can tell you exactly how energy efficient your building is, whether it’s a residential or commercial property.
Getting an EPC evaluation is not only a legal requirement if you ever want to sell the property, but at EPC for You we know it’s also a great way to get a snapshot of what could be improved when it comes to energy usage. Our energy assessments come with in-depth recommendations for ways to lower energy usage and trim bills. For example, you may discover that improving insulation can drastically improve your energy rating and save you hundreds every year.
Reduce your monthly energy bill
If you’ve shopped around for the best energy tariffs as well as taken a closer look at where you could make efficiencies, one very obvious option for cutting your bill is to make small adjustments in your daily energy use. At EPC for You we’re all about making small changes that add up to big results. Most of us could probably do with being more aware of the energy we consume every day without thinking. A few tiny teaks really do add up with time.
Our energy performance certificates will contain information on exactly where you can make improvements. For example, we might suggest you take a look at your general insulation and areas in the home where you may be losing precious heat once you’ve already paid for it! Secondary Perspex glazing sheets can be placed on top of single-glazed windows, or cling film can be used in a pinch. Use curtains to control heat, too: open them in the winter days to let heat in, and close them at night to trap that heat. On very hot days, curtains can be closed to keep the room cool.
In the same way, go around the house and check for draughts. There are several inexpensive ways to draught-proof a home – check around doors and windows, but also chimneys and other places cold air could be seeping in. Use energy-efficient LED lights where possible, since they are longer-lasting and use far less energy. Examine your appliances and get rid of any old or energy-hogging items.
If you turn your thermostat down just 1 degree, you could save around £50 a year, so put on a jumper instead! Showers guzzle enormous amounts of energy (not to mention water) so be more mindful and perhaps install a shower timer. In the kitchen, try to batch cook when you can or put multiple meals in the oven every time you use it.
In the wake of the 2020 pandemic, most people are not thrilled to hear that they could be paying more for energy. However, there are almost always clever ways to check in with what you’re really using, and find creative solutions to spend less.