Scary Energy Bills (and a £££ saving tip)

I’ve had lots of conversations recently, in the street and online, with people worried about their energy prices doubling, or even trebling.

These worries seem to have reached Westminster as yesterday Chancellor Rishi Sunak made a statement in the House of Commons. He explained how by fiddling with some of the levers he holds in the Treasury he would help to ease the pain. 5p off a litre of petrol was one new policy. Removing the VAT from insulation products was another. Both are welcome. However, the overall consensus from those who have studied what he said in detail is that he failed to provide sufficient help for those of you who face significant hardship.

The reality is, we’re all going to have to make changes to our household spending in the weeks and months ahead. Shopping around and economising wherever we can will become more important than ever. Our everyday choices will need to change, and things we have taken for granted will have to be thought about in new ways.

In the past switching energy supplier has been a fairly straightforward thing to do, with lots of good deals around. Well switching remains fairly easy, but affordable prices are not easy to come by any more. There is a chance though that you may be able to find a supplier who will give you a better tariff than the one your present supplier has quoted you. I would advise checking prices online with the Martin Lewis Cheaper Energy Club. And if you are already getting into debt to your energy supplier, which can make switching more of a problem, check out the advice that Martin gives about this here:

Finally, a little tip from me that could save you quite a bit of money on your gas, just by turning a dial on your boiler. As anyone who drives a car knows, if you constantly rev the engine and don’t change gear, the car will use more fuel. Well boilers are a bit like that too: you can run them more efficiently, or less efficiently. Even if you have an “A-rated” boiler it may only be running at B or C if you don’t have it set properly, i.e. you may be running it too hard.

The advice to save gas (estimated at 5-10% gain) is not to run your radiators red hot. Instead, run them a bit lower, for a bit longer. You don’t need to touch the thermostat on your wall. Instead, go to your boiler, and find the radiator dial, also known as flow temperature. If it is turned to max, or near max, you will definitely be paying more. Instead, set it to about 60%, so that the temp never gets higher than 60 degrees. Just doing that could save you more than £100 a year. Every little helps.

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