The cost of heating your home has been going up a lot recently. But why are fuel bills rising?
The easiest way to explain why they are so high is like this:
- Last year, it was very cold in Europe and that put pressure on suppliers. And because of this, stock levels of gas (what is stored or use) is much lower than normal.
- On top of that, there has been increased demand from Asia for liquified natural gas and this has pushed the wholesale price of gas up across the world.
Since January this year, the wholesale price of gas has jumped up 250%!!!
But wait, there is more…
In England, Wales and Scotland we have an energy price cap. This sets the maximum price that gas energy suppliers can charge households on a standard tariff. But this price cap has risen. And it is expected to go up again in April when it is next renewed.
So what can I do about it?
In normal circumstances, consumers would be advised to ‘shop around’ for a cheaper deal. But because of what is going on, fixed deals are simply not available. Many of the smaller, lesser known energy suppliers have gone bust and when homeowners have been switched to a new supplier, they are having to pay a lot more. So staying put on a current deal looks like, in the short term, to be the best option.
Instead of searching for a better deal, you are now being advised to search around the house for ways to become more energy efficient.
Classic advise like turning your homes thermostat down one degree and draught proofing your home can cut down on your energy costs.
I have heard that the rises in the UK are worse than in Europe
They are and that is because the UK is one of Europe’s largest consumers of natural gas. In the UK, 85% of homes use gas and it is also used to generate a third of the country’s electricity. Yet we have less gas reserves stored than Italy, Germany, France, Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the Netherlands.
And to make it all a little bit worse, this has been the least windy summer since the 60’s so wind power generation has been down.
Like the Government is advising, making your home more energy efficient is a sure fire way to reduce your energy costs.
10 ways to keep your house warm
Beyond that, making sure that your boiler has been serviced is always advisable. It isn’t just for reliability, it is for efficiency. A serviced boiler will keep it running smoothly and more efficiently.