With energy bill prices rising dramatically over recent months – and looking unlikely to slow down – we are becoming increasingly aware of how much we are spending to heat and power our homes. In addition to rising energy prices, we are also all becoming aware of our need to reduce the amount of energy that we use – and, even more so, are wasting.
Reducing the amount of energy that we are having to buy is important in reducing our energy bills, helping to look after the environment, trying to reverse the effects of climate change, and working towards our net-zero green targets.
What Causes High Energy Bills?
Our energy bills are usually based on the amount of energy that we are using. In other words, the more energy that you are using, the higher the bills will be. There can be several different reasons for higher energy bills. These can range from higher energy tariffs set by energy companies, to increased usage within the home (if, for example, more people are living in the house, or seasonal differences in energy use), as well as whether there is any energy wastage.
All of these factors – plus others such as whether you are using energy-efficient appliances such as fridges and washing machines, and whether appliances are turned off fully or left on standby can make a difference to your energy bills.
There are some factors that cannot be helped such as the energy tariff that is set by your energy company, for example. Others, however, can be improved by the homeowner or tenant – the energy efficiency of the property, for example.
Is your Home Energy-Efficient?
One of the best ways that you can affect the price of your energy bills (as well as the amount of carbon dioxide that is being released into the atmosphere) is to ensure that your home is energy efficient. This means that the energy that you are using is not wasted.
A home can be made more energy efficient by ensuring that heat is not lost through the roof and walls of the property and that the heating systems and appliances are modern, energy-efficient, and in good working order.
A very effective way to find out how energy efficient your home is with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) assessment. A domestic EPC is usually carried out when a property is sold or if you have new tenants moving in, but you can, in fact, have one carried out at any time that you like. In the EPC assessment, a qualified assessor will come to inspect the property, looking at factors such as insulation, the energy efficiency of your appliances, double glazing, and any renewable energy sources that you may have.
After the assessor has inspected the property, they will give it a rating of between ‘A’ and ‘G’ (with ‘A’ being extremely energy efficient and ‘G’ the least) and also some recommendations relating to how you can improve your rating.
Are you Using More Energy?
If you have noticed that your energy bills have suddenly gone up, the first thing that you should do is compare the rates that you have been charged with your previous bill. Check that the tariffs have not increased.
You should consider whether there are more people using the energy within your property. Increased use of energy will show up in your bill. It is also likely that your bills will increase in the colder months as the heating will be on more, and at a higher temperature.
What is your Energy Tariff?
Your energy tariff is, essentially, the rate that you are being charged for your energy. A standard tariff is usually the energy company’s default tariff, which can sometimes fluctuate with the market. A fixed energy tariff is a rate that is normally fixed for a certain amount of time, meaning that you can be certain of the price that you will be paying for a set amount of time. A dual fuel tariff will often be a little cheaper than the other tariffs as the will include both gas and electricity. A pre-payment tariff is a tariff that is applied when customers pre-pay for the energy that they are using, usually through a pre-payment meter. A green energy tariff is applied when the energy that you are using comes from a renewable source or your payment money is used to contribute towards green schemes.
How to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
The best ways that you can improve the energy efficiency of your home include:
- Installing cavity wall insulation
- Installing loft insulation
- Fitting double, triple, or secondary glazing
- Installing floor insulation
- Keeping your boiler and heating system well-maintained and modern
- Ensuring that your kitchen appliances such as washing machines and fridges are well-maintained and energy-efficient