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Fuel poverty: Top tips to save on energy costs in the UK

25/08/2021

Creditfix > Blog > Creditfix Debt Help Blog > Fuel poverty: Top tips to save on energy costs in the UK

Now that Ofgem, the UK’s energy regulator, has raised the UK energy price cap to an unprecedented level, experts are worried that unaffordable fuel costs will push even more families into fuel poverty this winter.

In this article, we explore what fuel poverty is, why the issue is receiving so much attention right now, and provide you with five steps you can take to lower your fuel costs and protect your wage packet.

We have a wide range of debt management solutions that could help you write off up to 81% of your debts

Check if you qualify

What is fuel poverty?

According to Turn2Us, a charity dedicated to helping people in financial need, a household in fuel poverty is one that:

– Requires fuel costs that are above the national average, AND
– Can’t afford to spend money on the amount of fuel they need, or they would be left with a disposable income lower than the official poverty line

For several reasons, the number of households in the UK currently considered to be in fuel poverty is rising.

Why is fuel poverty in the news right now?

The issue of fuel poverty is getting a lot of coverage in the press recently because energy prices are expected to surge this winter.

This month, Ofgem, the energy regulator, raised the cap on energy prices to its highest ever level. The cap was created to keep energy bills in check, and it’s been pushed so high due to a particularly steep rise in global gas prices.

Coming off the back of the coronavirus pandemic, which hit millions of people financially, industry experts are now concerned that the cap increase will force the hardest hit families to choose between heating their homes and putting food on the table.

What can I do to save money on energy costs?

Given that the energy price cap has just been raised to its highest ever level, saving money on your fuel costs this winter has just become a priority for a lot of people.

Below are some of our top tips for making your fuel budget go further.

1. Consider switching your energy supplier

One of the most obvious ways to save money on fuel costs is to switch your energy supplier, although we understand it can be a hassle.

In fact, many suppliers rely on the fact that their customers can’t be bothered switching, and will expect you to stay loyal even if they hike their prices – which they do often.

When you continue with a supplier, you get put on a default tariff, a price plan for existing customers who take no action when their contract expires. Industry experts estimate that switching from a default tariff to a standard tariff with a new supplier can save you as much £200 annually.

2. Have a lightbulb moment

You can save on your energy costs in big ways and small ways, and one of the simplest things you can do to make your money go further is to switch to energy saving lightbulbs.

Most homes are equipped with halogen lightbulbs, but LED alternatives will suit your needs while using up less energy, and subsequently helping you save.

Modern, energy efficient lightbulbs can use up to 81% less energy than a halogen alternative. If you’re wondering how that translates in cold, hard cash, a house that has more than 30 lights and replaces all halogen bulbs with LED versions can save as much as £100 per year.

3. Install a smart meter

Energy suppliers decide the level of your monthly utility bill based on how much energy they estimate that you’ll use across the year.

With that in mind, the more control you have of your energy usage, the less you’ll spend on your utility bills. That’s why you should consider installing a smart meter.

Smart meters give you an exact reading of your energy usage, and share that information with your supplier. Since your supplier will no longer need to rely on estimates, you can’t be overcharged for utilities – you’ll only pay for exactly how much energy you’re using.

4. Make sure new appliances are energy efficient

Inefficient appliances are a huge problem for anybody who keeps a close eye on their energy bill. Old washing machines, for example, tend to be bigger, use more water, and run at higher temperatures, all of which costs you more money.

While it’s unrealistic for you to replace each of your appliances with a more energy efficient model, all appliances break down eventually.

Whether you’re replacing an old boiler, dishwasher, or treating yourself to a new cooker, make sure any new appliances you buy have a high energy efficiency rating. It could save you hundreds of pounds every year.

5. Research discounts and special payments

Keeping the lights on and your home warm can cost a small fortune, especially for low income families. That’s why there are discounts and special payments in place to support families who need it most.

Below are two of the most common.

Cold weather payment

Cold weather payments are Government payments that help people on benefits to afford to heat their homes during the winter.

Low income households can get a cold weather payment of up to £175 for every 7-day period of extremely cold weather between November 1st and March 31st each year.

You can find out more about cold weather payments on the Government website, here.

Warm home discount

Low income people also qualify for the warm home discount, a discount applied directly to your energy bill.

Under the warm home discount scheme, you can get a one-off discount of up to £140 applied directly to your energy bill between October and March.

For more information on the warm home discount, visit the Government website here.

We have a wide range of debt management solutions that could help you write off up to 81% of your debts

Check if you qualify

Related articles

UK energy crisis: What to do if your supplier goes bust

 

Energy cap increase will hit those on Universal Credit

 

Fuel poverty: Top tips to save on energy costs in the UK

25/08/2021

Fuel poverty: Top tips to save on energy costs in the UK

25/08/2021

Now that Ofgem, the UK’s energy regulator, has raised the UK energy price cap to an unprecedented level, experts are worried that unaffordable fuel costs will push even more families into fuel poverty this winter.

In this article, we explore what fuel poverty is, why the issue is receiving so much attention right now, and provide you with five steps you can take to lower your fuel costs and protect your wage packet.

We have a wide range of debt management solutions that could help you write off up to 81% of your debts

Check if you qualify

What is fuel poverty?

According to Turn2Us, a charity dedicated to helping people in financial need, a household in fuel poverty is one that:

– Requires fuel costs that are above the national average, AND
– Can’t afford to spend money on the amount of fuel they need, or they would be left with a disposable income lower than the official poverty line

For several reasons, the number of households in the UK currently considered to be in fuel poverty is rising.

Why is fuel poverty in the news right now?

The issue of fuel poverty is getting a lot of coverage in the press recently because energy prices are expected to surge this winter.

This month, Ofgem, the energy regulator, raised the cap on energy prices to its highest ever level. The cap was created to keep energy bills in check, and it’s been pushed so high due to a particularly steep rise in global gas prices.

Coming off the back of the coronavirus pandemic, which hit millions of people financially, industry experts are now concerned that the cap increase will force the hardest hit families to choose between heating their homes and putting food on the table.

What can I do to save money on energy costs?

Given that the energy price cap has just been raised to its highest ever level, saving money on your fuel costs this winter has just become a priority for a lot of people.

Below are some of our top tips for making your fuel budget go further.

1. Consider switching your energy supplier

One of the most obvious ways to save money on fuel costs is to switch your energy supplier, although we understand it can be a hassle.

In fact, many suppliers rely on the fact that their customers can’t be bothered switching, and will expect you to stay loyal even if they hike their prices – which they do often.

When you continue with a supplier, you get put on a default tariff, a price plan for existing customers who take no action when their contract expires. Industry experts estimate that switching from a default tariff to a standard tariff with a new supplier can save you as much £200 annually.

2. Have a lightbulb moment

You can save on your energy costs in big ways and small ways, and one of the simplest things you can do to make your money go further is to switch to energy saving lightbulbs.

Most homes are equipped with halogen lightbulbs, but LED alternatives will suit your needs while using up less energy, and subsequently helping you save.

Modern, energy efficient lightbulbs can use up to 81% less energy than a halogen alternative. If you’re wondering how that translates in cold, hard cash, a house that has more than 30 lights and replaces all halogen bulbs with LED versions can save as much as £100 per year.

3. Install a smart meter

Energy suppliers decide the level of your monthly utility bill based on how much energy they estimate that you’ll use across the year.

With that in mind, the more control you have of your energy usage, the less you’ll spend on your utility bills. That’s why you should consider installing a smart meter.

Smart meters give you an exact reading of your energy usage, and share that information with your supplier. Since your supplier will no longer need to rely on estimates, you can’t be overcharged for utilities – you’ll only pay for exactly how much energy you’re using.

4. Make sure new appliances are energy efficient

Inefficient appliances are a huge problem for anybody who keeps a close eye on their energy bill. Old washing machines, for example, tend to be bigger, use more water, and run at higher temperatures, all of which costs you more money.

While it’s unrealistic for you to replace each of your appliances with a more energy efficient model, all appliances break down eventually.

Whether you’re replacing an old boiler, dishwasher, or treating yourself to a new cooker, make sure any new appliances you buy have a high energy efficiency rating. It could save you hundreds of pounds every year.

5. Research discounts and special payments

Keeping the lights on and your home warm can cost a small fortune, especially for low income families. That’s why there are discounts and special payments in place to support families who need it most.

Below are two of the most common.

Cold weather payment

Cold weather payments are Government payments that help people on benefits to afford to heat their homes during the winter.

Low income households can get a cold weather payment of up to £175 for every 7-day period of extremely cold weather between November 1st and March 31st each year.

You can find out more about cold weather payments on the Government website, here.

Warm home discount

Low income people also qualify for the warm home discount, a discount applied directly to your energy bill.

Under the warm home discount scheme, you can get a one-off discount of up to £140 applied directly to your energy bill between October and March.

For more information on the warm home discount, visit the Government website here.

We have a wide range of debt management solutions that could help you write off up to 81% of your debts

Check if you qualify

Related articles

UK energy crisis: What to do if your supplier goes bust

 

Energy cap increase will hit those on Universal Credit