Why are my energy bills going up when I’m switching things off? - thumbnail image

Why are my energy bills going up when I’m switching things off?

Since Britain’s energy regulator, Ofgem, increased the energy price cap in August last year, households around the UK have seen their bills spike. One of the major culprits is wholesale natural gas prices, which have swelled because of increased demand in Asia, and as a result of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. As 85% of UK households are heated by gas boilers, the effects are widely felt. And, as electricity prices are directly linked to gas prices, there’s no respite there either. 

If you’ve searched for energy-saving tips, you’re likely to have discovered small measures, such as switching off appliances when not in use, or purchasing energy-saving gadgets, hot water bottles or blankets. While good habits like these are positive steps, they’re unlikely to drastically lower your energy bills. Why? Because they don’t tackle our reliance on gas or prevent energy from escaping our homes. So, what other options exist and how affordable are they? 

Fix the ‘fabric’ of the house 

Before adding new energy-efficient measures, we advise people to consider what we call the ‘fabric’ of the house. Essentially, this is all about insulation, which increases the energy efficiency of your home by keeping warm air inside of it, rather than letting it escape or turn cold due to exposure to cold walls, windows, floors etc. 33% of the heat escaping from your home is lost through the walls, while a further 25% gets out via the roof. Too many houses in the UK lack proper insulation or have insulation that’s been poorly installed. 

The right kind of insulation for your home will depend on several factors, such as the materials used to build it and the date it was built, but they may include internal or external wall insulation, cavity wall insulation, flat roof insulation or loft insulation. And you may not realise this, but there are several government-backed schemes that can help you make these fixes (keep reading to find out more).

Reduce reliance on gas

There are several ways to reduce our reliance on gas, such as swapping old gas boilers for low-carbon alternatives, like heat pumps. These work by transferring heat from the outside air to water, which heats your home via radiators (and can also heat water stored in cylinders for hot taps, showers, and baths). 

Solar panels, however, are the most sought-after way to make your home more energy efficient, save on energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint. Having them installed is a long-term investment, representing a clean, green source of renewable energy that can counteract the rising costs we’re all facing. They allow you to use electricity generated from the sun instead of your utility company, while surplus energy can be sent back to the National Grid via the electricity meter (letting you earn money back) or stored in a battery. There are lots of different systems to choose from and, importantly, funding streams are available. 

Funding opportunities to help you save 

At Thrift Energy, we’ve built solid partnerships with various funding streams to help reduce the cost of people’s energy-saving solutions. You may not realise it, but there are several grants out there and you could be eligible (you’ll find some of them on the funding section of our website).

Tackling fuel poverty and reducing carbon emissions are our priorities so, if you need help, please take a look at our website, and get in touch on 0800 689 3415. 

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