Home energy costs on the rise
You may have seen in the news that wholesale prices for gas and electricity have skyrocketed to the highest ever in the UK. Some companies have gone bust and as a result, these customers are then being transferred to new suppliers.
Anyone transferred to a new supplier will be put on a price plan which is no more than the energy price cap. The energy price cap is the maximum limit a company can charge a consumer based on consumption – the regulators (OFGEM) set this charge.
Fixed deals are currently higher than the standard variable – some fixed tariffs are currently £500 more expensive, this may change in April 2022.
Switching isn’t advisable at the moment, so we are sharing some handy tips for a more fuel efficient household:
- Upgrade lighting – LEDs use 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs
- Don’t fill your kettle to the max, just boil what water you need
- Close internal doors in the house
- Standing charge – even if you don’t use your supply you will be subject to daily charges – so not using the gas doesn’t mean you won’t have a bill
- Try to keep draughts out of your main living space using under door draught excluders
- Turn appliances off at the plug
- Weather permitting, put washing out on the line
- Wash clothes at a lower temperature 30 degrees if possible. Most machines have a 40 degree cycle and this is the next best thing
- Set thermostats at 18-21 degrees in the day, and lower at night, avoid tuning the heating on and off. If you have thermostatic radiator valves set them to 4 or 5 for your main living space and 1 or 2 in bedrooms.
- Thermostats on radiators in each room, don’t turn them off just turn them down
For older and vulnerable people
- The recommended temperature should be 21 degrees in the day and 18 degrees during the night
- Do not choose to keep yourself warm by sitting in front of an electric heater, a 2kw heater when used for 10hrs can cost £4 a day, that’s £120 a month!
- Heating your home too much (24 degrees and above) can cause dehydration which could lead to confusion/forgetfulness and falls
- Keep windows and curtains closed during the night
- Make sure you’re dressed for the cold weather even when at home, a few light layers of cotton, wool or fleece are much better than a couple of thick jumpers
- Use a hot water bottle, but not with an electric blanket
Ensure you are on the Priority Services Register - register here: Western Power Distribution - Priority Services Register or call your supplier.
Have you applied for the Warm Home Discount?
Warm Home Discount Scheme - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
For those using meters who are in arrears
- Energy suppliers will normally want to claw back any arrears within 3 months, ask if the debt can be spread to 3yrs (interest free)
- You may be eligible for help from your supplier in the way of grants to pay off arrears, check if your supplier offers such assistance
- Don’t forget even if you are not heating your home on a pay as you go meter a standing charge of 30p a day will still be added at midnight!
- Tell your supplier if you need extra support –
- If you are disabled
- Have a long-term illness
- Are over state pension age
- Have young children living with you
- Experiencing financial problems
- Check you’re not paying someone else’s debt especially if you’ve recently moved home
- Having a pre-payment meter doesn’t stop you switching unless you owe more than £500 of debt
- Pre-payment meters can be more costly than a standard meter and its free to switch (they may however check your credit history)
What to do if you are struggling
Are you receiving the correct benefits? - get some advice from our Welfare Benefit Advisors. Customers can contact the team direct on 01952 217234 or by email at email@example.com.
Do you need help balancing the books? – Wrekin’s Tenancy Sustainment team can help with budgeting. Customers can contact the team direct on 01952 217283 or by email at TSS@wrekin.com.
Do you have debts, are they keeping you awake at night? Wrekin Debt Advice team may be able to help. They can be contacted direct on 01952 217251, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Marches Energy Agency can also help with support and advice regarding your energy bills.
28th October 2021