In August 2014 energy supplier, Co-operative Energy, carried out a survey of 2000 householders in the UK. They found that many families are planning to prioritise energy bills ahead of the weekly shop and Christmas presents this year. Over 45% of bill payers are more concerned about the affordability of bills this year than they were in 2013.
Concern over energy bills means that 41% of those surveyed indicated that they would have to tighten the purse strings in the winter months in order to have enough money for energy bills.
The recession appears to have had a significant effect on the way households prepare for higher winter energy bills: 57% of those surveyed said that they had actively put money aside to cover energy bills. More than half of those surveyed said that they have been forced to make spending sacrifices elsewhere in order to have enough money for energy bills, with 37% stating that they had forgone a summer holiday to save money.
A recent international survey found that 64% of people are more worried about rising energy bills than they are about paying their mortgage or rent. As a result, homeowners are becoming more proactive about improving the energy efficiency of their homes.
Caroline Flint, Shadow Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change commented this week that insulating homes in the UK would help millions of people to permanently cut their energy bills.
So how can you cut your energy bills?
• Turn appliances off when they’re not in use rather than leaving them on standby and turn lights off when you leave a room.
• Use kitchen appliances carefully – only boil the amount of water you need each time, rather than filling the kettle up. Wash your clothes at 30° where possible.
• Draft proof doors and windows to stop heat escaping.
• Check to see if you have enough loft insulation. Ten inches (270mm) of insulation is the recommended amount.
• If your house has cavity walls, insulation will reduce heat loss. Find out about grants for insulation through the Energy Company Obligation Scheme.