The National Statistics Office suggested earlier in the year that by September 2013 consumers were likely to be paying almost 8% more for gas and electricity than the same time last year. The anticipated extreme weather conditions forecasted between now and next spring will have a major impact on energy consumption by consumers for homes and businesses.
On Sunday Vincent de Rivaz who is the Chief Executive Officer for energy supplier EDF, said that a price freeze on energy was not the way forward and talked about the £16 billion investment required to go ahead with the power plant at Hinkley Point – an investment backed by the Chinese and yet to be passed by Brussels. He also mentioned tough price negotiations with our government who, it seems, did battle on behalf of the likes of you and I.
We hear a lot of talk about fixed tariffs, price freezing, even the question about keeping the lights on next winter, not forgetting the green levies. Do we understand what’s actually going on other than it’s going to cost us more? Probably not in the main – it more or less depends on who you listen to – which political party is speaking and which statistics you choose to consider. Some figures suggest that even with a £50 reduction at some point, householders may be paying up to £70 a year more for their gas supply.
Interestingly the UK is consuming less energy today than we did in the 1970s even though the population has increased by several million. This is down to efficiency in both the production and use of energy and also in part due to the change in business for example, much less industry and an increase in the service sector where the energy use is far less intensive. This means a 60% reduction in industry alone. Households are also more efficient so we use around 12% less energy. It is generally thought (The Department of Energy and Climate Change) that this trend will continue as far into the future as 2030, even with an increase in population and especially as everyone becomes even more aware of the issues, and how can we not when it’s in the news a lot of the time?
We’re using a lot less but it costs us a lot more!
Whatever the reasons, the statistics, and the politics, heat retention and energy efficiency has never been more important and there are some small things you can do that can have quite an impact. For instance did you know that you can make savings by using your controls more effectively? Turning down your room thermostat by just one degree if it’s too warm could save around £65 a year. Turning things off rather than leaving them on stand-by can save as much as £50 a year. For even more advice on making even greater savings take a look at the Energy Saving Trust information.