Cold Weather Increases Energy Bills for UK Households
With the amount of snow and the longest cold period in the UK for 30 years the UK homeowners are turning up the heating which can only mean higher bills coming their way.
For some months now many households have been attempting to save costs by turning down their thermostats in order to just pay their monthly rent and food bills but with the persistent cold weather that has been around for many weeks the average UK household is likely to spend at least £200 in January on heating alone.
There are also plan re-routing of gas supplies because the demand is so high the national grid is attempting to divert gas from commercial requirements for domestic use. Consumption of gas has increased by around 30% in recent weeks and the wholesale prices are increasing also. Add this to the fact that prices have increased by over 40% over the past 2 years (with at least 1/2 of that being past onto consumers) makes this snowy season a not so joyful for many hard pressed families.
Although prices have not increased for electricity and gas over the past 6 months or so the cold weather means we all have to keep the heating on for longer especially for the elderly or those with small children. There are some things people can do to keep the costs as low as possible, for example, just by turning down the thermostat by 1 degree can save a fortune.
There are also government payments for people aged over 60 can claim as follows:
- cold winter payment – is set at £25 and is for people who are already on pension credits – the payment is made per each week that the temperatures are at freezing or below and are sent automatically by the government department in charge
- winter fuel payments– this year the payment is £250 if there are people aged 60 or older in the home or £400 if there is a person aged over 80 in the house. These are generally paid before Christmas either directly into your bank account or via cheque – so if you haven’t received yours contact the winter fuel payments hotline on 08459 151515 — these payments are payable to everyone who qualifies and are not means tested in any way
Other ways to ensure your home is warm and not costing you in wasted energy is to have the very latest boiler installed to make efficient use of the energy you are consuming and have insulation in the loft and walls. Properly fitted windows also help. There are government grants for some people to help pay with the costs of installation and the new boiler scrappage scheme may help towards the cost of installing a new boiler in your home.
Although these measures make take time to implement they are generally worth it and save money in each year to come. You could also turn off radiators in rooms you do not use and close doors in all rooms to ensure any heat does not escape into other areas of your home. Perhaps you can also have heavy curtains over front and back doors to keep cold air out and always close curtains on your windows.