Turn off the lights when you leave the room. Don’t let the water run while you brush your teeth. Keep showers short. Put on extra layers of clothes in the winter.
We’ve been following this advice for years, trying to lower energy bills in the face of ever more expensive tariffs. But surely, in the modern era, we can do better than putting on a jumper while eating dinner, right?
As it happens, we can.
The modern Britain has options above and beyond those of previous decades. The 21st century has opened the door to a number of opportunities that enable us to lower our energy bills. We need only take advantage of what is on offer.
But, this then begs the question, exactly what is on offer?
Manoeuvre your supplier contracts
We like the status-quo. We like to keep things the way we are, because we know how to deal with them. In the past, this lifestyle fitted nicely with the way energy suppliers worked. There were very few to choose from and switching could be a hassle.
Nowadays, though, things are different. Switching energy suppliers is not the complex process it used to be. Yet, many people still don’t choose to switch. Instead, they stay with their current supplier year after year. Nearly 5 million homes in the UK haven’t switched their supplier in 10 years — and this is likely to be detrimental to lowering energy bills.
Energy tariffs are constantly changing for all suppliers, which means the company offering you the best deal in 2017 may not be doing so in 2018 — let alone the deal you got back in 2007. Fortunately, you aren’t stuck with your energy supplier. Changing is a simple process and can be done at any point.
With the rise of the internet and the rise of energy production technology, two things have happened:
- It has become far easier to find different suppliers
- More energy suppliers have come available
To lower energy bills, forget about the old ways of staying with the same company for decades at a time and make a point of looking at your options at least annually. By using energy comparison websites, anyone can find themselves a cheaper deal and lower their energy bills.
Go energy efficient
In the 21st century, the world has been awoken to the truth about climate change. The result has been a push towards becoming a greener society; one that does not waste the precious resources we are using.
In the home, this has translated to the rise of energy-efficient products — technology that is designed to make the most of the gas, water and electricity we fuel our homes with. You’ll find you can get just about any appliance or piece of household tech in an energy-efficient form these days.
From installing an energy-efficient boiler to utilising energy-saving light bulbs, this new-age technology doesn’t just help save the planet; it also helps lower energy bills. By using these modern methods, the savings to be had are staggering. £100 a year can be saved using energy-efficient light bulbs, £340 for a boiler, £130 for a fridge-freezer; the list goes on.
As we move through 2017, in 2018 and beyond, the key for the modern Britain looking to cut energy costs is being more efficient with how they use energy. New technology is the answer to that problem.
Join the smart meter movement
It is remarkable that, in 2017, most energy levels are measured from the same archaic technology that has been in use for decades: old, rusted meters hidden in garages or under stairs, visited by the gas man once every six months. The result of this stone-age tech is that you’re often left to pay ‘estimated’ energy bills and are never really quite sure what your usage is.
Happily, however, things are finally moving forward.
The government has started an initiative to try and get a smart meter into every home in the country. Effectively a little touch-screen device, it monitors your boiler usage live, sends the details back to your energy provider and allows you to look at the details of your gas use in real time.
The new technology means you can lower your energy bills by both only ever paying for exactly what you use — like you always should have — and monitor your usage more easily, allowing you to make lifestyle changes and witness their immediate impact.
Smart meters are free. Just contact your energy provider and request one.