Advice on reducing fuel bills in the short term and improving energy efficiency at home
Searches for ‘energy bill help’ increased by 681% in the UK on 7 January 2022 – nearly seven times the average volume in one day. The spike in searches came the day after MoneySavingExpert’s Martin Lewis warned on ITV that a 50% hike in gas prices was expected in April 2022, which could add a further £600 a year to already soaring energy bills.
Energy experts Boiler Central analysed Google search data to reveal the unprecedented uptick in searches for ‘energy bill help’.
‘Gas and electricity bills absolutely skyrocketed in the UK last year due to persistently high wholesale prices across the globe, and are still at a record high,’ said a spokesperson for Boiler Central. The data also revealed that searches related to cheaper heating alternatives, such as ‘cheapest portable heater to run’, experienced a 2,038% rise on 7 January 2022.
Household gas bills rose by 28.1% and electricity bills 18.8% in 2021, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). News from Martin Lewis that energy bills could see another hike of 50% in April will likely cause further anxiety for people already struggling to afford their electricity and gas bills.
‘There are some grants and schemes available to help people on a low income or Universal Credit with their energy bills, such as a Winter Fuel Payment or the Warm Home Discount scheme, where you may be able to get £140 off your electricity bill, so it’s a good idea to check with your local Citizens Advice Bureau to see if you might qualify,’ continued the spokesperson.
But energy efficiency isn’t just a trending topic due to rising fuel prices, climate change also means that more people are looking for ways to improve their energy efficiency. So what can you do in the short term to lower you energy bills, and in the long term to reduce your fuel consumption?
How to reduce your energy bills
Looking for energy bill help now? These for short-term solutions will help you reduce your energy bills immediately. From running appliances on the eco setting to downsizing your washing machine and installing LED bulbs and smart heating controllers, follow the link below for six tips on reducing energy use that could shave an average of £336 a year of your bills.
Which household appliances cost the most to run?
Tech retailer Currys has revealed the most energy-guzzling home appliances, with washing machines and kettles scoring worryingly highly. If you need energy help bill now, it pays to be aware of which appliances cost the most to run:
- Washing machines, dishwashers and other wet appliances account for 25% of total average household electrical use, and 15% of total energy bills costs, making them the worst offenders.
- TVs and game consoles, which are usually left on standby, account for 19% of total electrical use in the average household, or 9% of the nation’s energy bill. Switching off electronics at the wall can save an up to £40 a year.
- Kettles and other cooking appliances also account for 19% of the average household’s electricity use. Kettles can be surprisingly wasteful – you may wish to consider switching to a hot water tap to save both energy and water.
- Fridges and freezers consume 16% of the total electricity used in an average household. Since these cannot be switched off, it pays dividends to seek out the most energy efficient appliance you can afford.
- Lighting comes in just behind cold appliances, at around 16% of the total electrical use in the average home.