The cost of our energy bills are going up at a rapid pace. The average increase as of October 1st is £139 with a further increase between £178-£298 expected in April next year (source: Guardian) These significant increases in consumer cost are led by the global gas crisis, that continues to drive the market price of gas upwards. Many smaller utility companies have gone bust creating further uncertainty for their customers, who will have been moved to a new supplier amidst the chaos.
We meet with Linda Hopkins an Authorised UW Partner aka "The Utility Bill Shrinker" to hear her take on the situation unfolding. She meets with consumers to review their utility bills and often recommends a better and cheaper alternative. We asked her a couple of questions.
People you speak with, what do they think of the energy price increases?
People are in shock and some even in disbelief over the price increases they are presented with. More often than not people are worried about affordability.
They find it incredibly stressful dealing with the unknown, especially the consumers moved to a new provider without choice and onto more expensive tariffs. A lot of people may get by now but fear the further price increases come spring 2022.
What's their main concern?
Affordability is by far number 1 concern. Most alarmingly, I often hear the phrase “heat or eat”. They are also considering where they can reduce costs elsewhere to find the extra money for their rising utility bills.
What’s your advice for customers struggling with increasing bills?
Do a review of your bills. Many people are surprised with their bills e.g. broadband they may think they pay £30 but more than often it’s higher. I would always recommend them to consider options and other suppliers. Shop around!
What advice would you give people to save on their heating bills?
Consider putting timers on certain appliances so you can manage their usage better
Consider getting a smart meter installed to keep an eye on your energy usage. Some suppliers including UW are offering financial incentives E.g UW currently offer a £50 bonus to new customers installing a smart meter.
Calculate your usage and cost, if you don't have smart meter you can very easily work out costs of using particular appliances with a simple spreadsheet, just enter wattage of the appliance* (usually on a label on the appliance or in the instructions) eg power 100W means it is a 100 watt appliance, while this may seem OTT to some it can just help you be better informed.
For instance using this method I realized that I was spending £30/ month on electricity just on my bathroom heated towel rail and underfloor heating because I had them running 24 hours a day without really thinking about this! I immediately got a cheap timer fitted (£30 from screwfix) so I can now just run them both for a few hours a day with an option to boost if needed, reducing my energy usage by around 70%.
We love Linda’s ideas of reducing energy usage, not only will it save you money but also greatly benefit the environment and help reduce carbon emissions. The energy saving trust has more ideas on saving energy. Check those out here
As an example turning down your heating just 1 degree can save you up to £55 per year. Why not wear an extra layer of clothing and save on your bills and be more environmentally friendly too?
Caz, one of Norse Supply’s customers, expressed she would wear her Sittingsuit inside this winter to save cost on utilities and while that’s not exactly the intended purpose of Sittingsuits. We have been known to do the same on those extra cold days while the office heats up :)
In case you have been affected by the recent price increases and want a bill review with Linda Hopkins aka the “The Utility Bill Shrinker”. You can book a free and no obligation review here or contact John from Norse Supply who is now an authorised partner of UW.
All the best