Sustained increases is oil and gas prices over the last years mean UK energy bills are set to rise to the highest ever levels come the summer.
It’s all down to a complex combination of factors, including the increasing scarcity of these natural resources coupled with disasters like the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill and political unrest in the Middle East.
The Japanese earthquake and tsunami is also having an effect on prices. With Japanese nuclear capacity hit, natural gas supplies are being diverted there, pushing up the global cost.
Bigger bills expected in the summer
With energy producers now needing to give consumers 30 days’ notice of any price increases, UK householders could be faced with bigger bills come the summer, according to a report in the Guardian newspaper. The report states that bills could rise by a further 5-10%, adding up to £100 to the average annual household energy bill.
The news means that it’s more sensible than ever to shop around and think about ways of saving money on energy. Practical steps consumers can do is:
• reduce overall energy use
• think about generating your own green power
• pay by direct debit
• find the cheapest supplier
• check if fixed-rate tariffs may be cheaper in the long run
Cheap green deals
Scottish Power, OVO energy, npower and British Gas offer some of the cheapest green deals.
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Reducing energy use
Switching off unneeded lights, making sure appliances aren’t left on standby and using energy saving lightbulbs are just a few simple ways you can reduce energy consumption. Installing good insulation is another sure way to save money and go greener.
Installing renewable energy generation
With ever increasing energy prices, generating your own clean, renewable energy is booming in popularity. Home wind power and solar panel kits are two practical ways of generating your own renewable energy.
While home wind power works best in locations with a steady and undisturbed wind supply, modern photovoltaic solar panel kits even work on overcast days. In many cases planning permission is not needed.
The government’s Renewable Heat Incentive will also start in 2012, helping homeowners install green energy generation. If you’re north of the border in Scotland, you can also take advantage of interest free loans to help install renewable energy.
Households who generate excess green energy can even sell it back to the National Grid using the Feed in Tariff scheme.
Reduce consumption & switch to green energy
As ever, Green Abode’s advice for the eco-aware consumer is to combine a reduction in your overall energy with a switch to greener forms of energy. Once seen as an expensive alternative, as oil and gas prices continue to soar, renewable energy is becoming more and more mainstream and affordable.