SSE, the second largest energy company, recently said that the average household bill will rise by 9%, from £1,172 to £1,274 every year. The news of this price rise has come just as the days are starting to get colder. On average, energy companies make £45 profit from every household, and this is set to increase to £65 by this Christmas. Those Scrooges!
To duck these soaring energy prices, all you can do is be economical with heat. Trust us, you'll want to squeeze into as many jumpers as possible, with 2010's winter being the chilliest in 30 years, and this year looking to follow suit. If the energy companies are looking to profiteer from us, it's time to fight back; armed with insulation and sausage dogs!
Why double-glaze your windows when you can triple-glaze? But first, look to your curtains. A study conducted by the Edinburgh World Heritage Trust showed that you can effectively reduce your energy bills by closing your curtains at dusk. Heavily line your shutters if they are thin; even if this means tacking an old duvet over your windows.
Keep your doors shut when the heating is on and put your favourite, multi-coloured draft-excluder (your sausage dog) along the bottom. Make sure that your letterbox has a flap attached.
If you're getting too cold, instead of cranking up the thermostat, why not spend the rest of your evening cosied up under a duvet? After a long day at work, it's a great way to prepare yourself for bed, and it's important that you have winter covers to keep you toasty throughout the night, so visit a quality bed retailer like Archers sleep centreto get warm bedding.
Putting on five jumpers and turning down your thermostat by 1 degree can cut your energy bills by 10% - that's £55 in your pocket every year, according to the Energy Saving Trust (EST). However, over half of UK residents don't have a thermostat, and many of those who do just have the old, inaccurate round dials. Get yourself a programmable, digital thermostat, so you don't leave the heating on by mistake.
Look after your radiators and they'll look after you. Bleeding your radiators regularly and amplifying their heat with reflector boards (otherwise known as ‘tin foil' for anyone who is strapped for cash because of rising energy bills) will maximise the output of heat in your house.
Half of heat loss in the home comes from the walls and loft. The average British house could save £145 a year by getting their loft insulation up-to-scratch. Many people put off loft insulation, as it means they have to sort through the years of junk they have up there. Regardless, you should have the recommended 27cm of insulation in your roof.
Fortunately, there are subsidiaries available for the cash-conscious. If you are over 70 or have the correct benefits, it could be entirely free, so research online and see if you qualify.