Whether you are trying to manage your home finances or make a success of your own business, energy costs can create a big budgeting headache. Ongoing political uncertainty in the Middle East pushes up oil prices and has a knock-on effect on other energy costs too. So what measures can you take to protect yourself against rising energy prices? Here are some ideas that can make a real difference.
Despite the popularity of price comparison websites, you would be amazed at how many people use the same old supplier year after year without shopping around. If you have an oil powered heating system, contact a variety of commercial fuel suppliers and you can achieve some enormous savings. The same applies to domestic gas and electricity. Many utility companies offer special introductory deals to new customers, and the process of changing suppliers is simpler than ever.
Check your insulation
Without good insulation, your property will be leaking heat as fast as it generates it. This is the perfect time of year to look at your home insulation and bring it up to scratch with minimal inconvenience. You might also find that you are eligible for financial assistance through the government’s grants system. It is definitely worth investigating.
At the risk of turning into your own parents, you can make a real difference to your energy use by powering things off when they are not in use. Today, we have more electronic gadgetry than ever, most of which uses an electrical charger. These can still draw phantom energy if you leave them plugged in, and although it is only a small amount, it can add up if you have multiple chargers left permanently connected to the mains. Other devices like printers, coffee machines and microwave ovens can also sit using power for days on end without being used. Switching off overnight can make a real difference.
We all know that energy saving light bulbs are more efficient than traditional ones, but sometimes the higher purchase price can put us off. Don’t be deterred, modern LED lights use a fraction of the electricity and can last up to 40 times longer – the savings can be immense. You can also make a big difference to your energy bills by shopping smarter when you upgrade appliances. If your fridge or washing machine is due for renewal, pay close attention to energy ratings when you hit the shops. The most energy efficient options might cost a little more, but they will save you money in the long run.
Installation of solar panels is well worth considering. While photovoltaic systems are becoming all the rage to generate electricity back into the grid, they do require some investment. A simple thermal system that just heats your water is cheaper to install, and can still bring major savings. Going solar can also make a significant difference to the value of your property if you decide to sell, so it is an investment that is worth some serious thought.
*Post in collaboration with Emo Oil