Understanding the fluctuations in your energy bill price may sometimes feel like some sort of complex secret that the companies don’t let you in on.
It doesn’t have to be that way, you can figure out most of why your prices are rising or falling by asking yourself these questions anytime you ponder ‘Why is my energy bill so high?
Are You Conserving Energy?
Making deliberate efforts to conserve energy is one surefire way to get the bills down. Doing things such as improving insulation, turning lights off when you’re not in the room and turning appliances off at the wall rather than leaving them on standby can have a great long-term effect.
If you’re too busy to do these things, it may play a significant factor in answering ‘why is my energy bill is so high’. For all of our top tips on conserving energy to reduce the cost of bills, read this excellent guide.
Are Your Meter Readings Accurate?
If reducing your energy bills is something you’re willing to work on, the first thing to do is to get in the habit of reading your meter regularly and capturing the data. As soon as you receive your bill, you should make a note of your readings and do the same when the next bill arrives, so you can see if there are any discrepancies.
Underestimated and overestimated bills both cause various problems, so it’s good to check for yourself what you’re using, just in case. Suppliers are required, by Ofgem, to read and check the quality of your meter every two years, though some offer great customer service by coming more frequently. If you notice a strange difference between your usage and your energy supplier’s figures, you must get in touch so that they can check or adjust the figures on your account. The Competitions and Markets Authority previously suggested that households are overpaying by £1.7bn a year!
Has There Been A Big Change In Your Household?
A change in household circumstances is often to cause for a noticeable change in consumption. Maybe someone has been ill and spent a lot of time at home keeping warm, perhaps you have a new baby or grandparents came to stay or maybe someone in your household has started working from home.
Do You Have Any Faulty Appliances?
A faulty appliance has the potential to consume way more energy than it should simply because it’s not operating properly. High consumption items, such as white goods, heaters and entertainment systems can often be guilty of this.
Are You On An Expensive Dual FuelTariff?
Your energy providers do have the power to change the price of your tariff, and whilst they will have to notify you, often this information gets lost in the jargon of the letter or email. Go online or call your provider to find out if you can be put on a cheaper tariff.
External factors, like the cost of importing gas, or political factors like Brexit, have the ability to affect your bill prices. To counteract the effects of Brexit, 2017 will see Npower increase their standard tariff electricity prices by 15%, whilst British Gas will raise the price of their standard gas tariff by 4.8%
Are You At The Mercy Of The Big Six?
Loyalty to your energy provider will not save you money. Often you get special deals by switching to a new provider, and since it’s obviously easier to simply stay with your current provider to avoid any ‘hassle’, energy companies often don’t give incentives for staying with them. Switching being a difficult task is a myth though, find out why here ( link to ‘how do I change my energy supplier’). You are in control of your bills, not the supplier, so don’t stand for anything you deem to be unfair.
Have you ever heard of the ‘Big Six’? These are the six largest energy companies, who provide gas and electricity to over 50 million homes and businesses in the UK, covering around 86.6% of the market. They are British Gas, EDF Energy, Npower, E.ON, Scottish Power and SSE.
Since June 2014, switching to independent energy suppliers has become increasingly more popular as a way of getting better deals, better service and avoiding the power that the Big Six hold. Independents have increased their share of the market from 0.2% to 13.4% in less than eight years, equating to more than five million customers!
Which Season Is It?
Most customers pay a seasonal average for the price of their energy, so they do not experience fluctuations in price as much as those who are charged on a daily basis. In winter, you are going to spend a lot more on energy than in summer, and that’s not to say that our summers are particularly hot, but the need for heating is significantly reduced.
Where Do You Live?
When being quoted for your energy prices, you must always give your postcode, this is because providers charge based on where you live. The reason for this is that energy companies in your area must buy and sell energy, and then distribute it, and this is at different costs depending on the cost of living or the amount of transport needed. This postcode lottery system may not seem fair, especially when people in the next city can pay 20% less purely due to these factors.
Fact: Merseyside has the highest prices and the East Midlands has the lowest!
Is Your Home Poorly Insulated?
Poor quality windows are often to blame for letting in drafts that lower the resting temperature of your home. A low quality loft conversion can also have the same effect. Insulation is designed to keep the temperature of your home balanced all year round, so if you are blasting heaters in the winter and whirring fans in the summer, you should invest in better insulation.
You’re Messing With The Thermostat
All those buttons, twisty knobs and a digital screen with all different figures! How can you win when it comes to playing with the thermostat? Well, turning it down by one degree on average over the year will save you around £90, two degrees around £180, though if you go down too low, your house is going to be unhealthily cold!
Take back control of your costings with the help of MyEnergy. Our easy-to-use online quoter enables you to find the most price-friendly tariff in a matter of minutes- yes, it really is that simple!