Energy costs can be notoriously crippling during the winter, but it’s not just our individual households that are suffering. “Over the past few years most of us have learnt a few tips and tricks for making our homes more energy efficient and keeping our bills down such as LED light bulbs, insulation and draught excluders” says Marylebone estate agent, Kubie Gold. But if we all work together to use our energy more efficiently we could shave a massive £7.5 billion off costs, according to experts.
This would mean that the average household would have to make a lot of changes, so experts are calling for the government to consider incentive schemes to make it more tempting for people. According to the UK Energy Research Centre, we could cut around a quarter of heating and electricity bills throughout the country, equating to an average saving of £270 a year for homeowners. If we all make the necessary changes, they believe we would be reducing the UK’s energy consumption by half- that’s as much energy as six nuclear reactors could generate. It would also hugely cut down on carbon dioxide emissions which have major impact on climate change and air pollution.
The UK’s six biggest energy suppliers are currently benefiting from unprecedented profit margins, with British Gas announcing price hikes of more than 12% in some cases. Energy bills continue to rise and are currently somewhere around £1,110 a year for the average home. “If people do make changes around the home, they could look at dropping their bills to around £560” advises Lingfield estate agent, Robert Leech.
There is currently little in the way of incentives for householders to make improvements such as insulation and solar power, but there are huge savings to be made by just making a few changes around the home.
Environmental experts believe a zero-carbon future is completely possible, although it’s unlikely in any of our lifetimes. They say we must therefore continue to educate our children in how to keep the world healthy and do more to lobby government to make important policy changes now. Cold and leaky houses have a huge impact on household bills, so if the government insists that all homes are renovated year on year we will all be able to enjoy lighter bills and a healthier environment.
With energy suppliers all upping their costs, few homeowners can afford to ignore how efficiently they use energy in their homes. “Despite this, one in five households still don’t submit regular meter readings, resulting in them paying more than they have to every month. It’s absolutely essential to stay on top of meter readings and do everything we can to keep bills down and to protect our environment” says Garrett Whitelock, London Bridge estate agent.