The Big Freeze, Utility Bills and Value for Money

With winter well and truly here and Christmas drawing in you really notice the difference on your energy bills. There is a lot of coverage in the media regarding how much utility companies are charging customers and OFGEM are even starting a formal investigation. It has also come to light homes in Liverpool and certain parts of Scotland can pay around £75.00 more for energy than homes in the South East of England.

As well as this the economy is still hurting and many people are out of work, so bills are a big worry especially when the heating has to go on because of freezing temperatures. Even so energy suppliers such as British Gas, Southern Energy and Scottish Power have all decided to increase their rates, the timing could not be worse.

With this in mind it is much more important to do your research and compare providers so you can obtain the best deal. To do this you can use sites like Uswitch and Moneysupermarket and search by postcode. Many providers offer special online tariffs, which mean you can benefit from cheaper rates. You can also access your account online and provide your own meter readings as well as receive paperless e-billing. Currently EDF has been named as the cheapest dual fuel provider for their online Saver 7 account, it has been revealed a household could save as much as £405.00 over the year by switching to this tariff, they also provide a £100.00 welcome bonus.

The recent freezing temperatures are putting a strain on heating systems with British Gas receiving extremely high levels of calls. Enquiries for new boilers and boiler servicing engineers have sky rocketed as people rush to get new systems installed and fixed during the harsh weather. British Gas has their own home heating system service which is called Homecare, but this has recently been challenged by the AA who has recently launched their own version, they are directly competing with British Gas by offering their bottom package for AA members at only £19.99 per month for boiler breakdown cover and home emergency response.

Avoid Nasty Surprises and Heat your Home for Less

The best way to avoid nasty surprises is to properly maintain and prepare your house for cold conditions this can help save money on your energy bills and heat your home for less.

At least once a year you should bleed your radiators to ensure they are all working correctly.

Draught proofing letterboxes, windows and doors using a PVC seal can reduce your bills and ensure you do not lose heat unnecessarily.

Installing energy saving light bulbs throughout your home can save up to £50.00 per bulb over a year. They also often last 10 times longer, which means you do not have to replace them so often and you can be kinder to the environment by reducing your carbon footprint.

When it is really cold it can be tempting to blast the thermostat, but if you turn it down by just 1.5C you could save yourself 10% on your heating bills.

Sometimes a boiler is simply unfixable or the parts are no longer available in which case a replacement new boiler is the only option. However, it is not all bad news, nowadays all gas boilers have to be A-rated condensing boilers, which are much more efficient at converting energy into heat which can save you quite a bit over time. For example, if your current gas boiler is more than 12 years old it is probably a G-rated boiler and could be only 60-70% efficient this means 30-40% of the energy used is not converted into heat for your home. A new A-rated condensing boiler is over 90% efficient this leads to less wastage and more money saved.

British Gas is the biggest installer of new boilers in the UK. They offer a free no obligation consultation and provide a quote and recommendation on the best system for your needs. As well as this they also offer boiler cover free of charge with new purchases and run multiple sales and promotions throughout the year.

The energy market is a very competitive space with various companies competing for your business, tariffs and prices change all the time so you can literally save hundreds of pounds by simply doing a little research online and getting the best deal available.