With the winter closing in, now is the time to make sure your home is warm enough for you and your family. Last year it was announced that more than 2,700 people were in critical or fatal conditions in both England and Wales due to the fact that they could not afford to stay warm during the cold months. Not only does insufficient heating cause fatality but it can also cause cases of respiratory problems and sickness. In 2009, almost 20% of homes in the UK were affected by fuel poverty. Fuel poverty is when a household cannot afford to keep adequately warm at reasonable cost, given their income.¯¨
Researchers have found that the impact of gas and electricity costs alongside the impact of green taxes have put a substantial risk on health and lives throughout the UK. Energy companies have increased their profit margins per customer to a staggering £125 per year.
If the Government thinks this rise is acceptable then they need to think about what consequences it will have on pressing factors like the NHS, and could therefore start a vicious circle.
Why the increase?
The big question is why are energy prices rising in the first place? The answer to this question is that oil prices are now a big driver for GB gas prices. Gas is one of the main drivers, with around 35-50% of electricity generated being done so by burning gas. 50% of the wholesale electricity price is made up of the fuel used to generate the electricity; as a result, changes in gas prices will have a knock on effect on the electricity price.
These higher gas prices have been the main cause of increasing energy bills over the last eight years. When Britain started importing gas between 2004 and 2005 we saw a sudden increase in gas prices. Britain started to import gas as the amount of gas in the North Sea was starting to run low. Now that there is such a high amount of gas being imported, there are increased transportation costs which have contributed to the increase in the amount we pay for our gas.
What can we do?
While the Government decides what they are going to do about the pressing issue, there are things that we can do at home that will make a huge difference. You can start by Eco Proofing Your Home. This article has tricks and tips for all budgets that will save you money on your energy bills whilst making the most of what you have. Alternatively you can carry out some home improvement on your heating system, this does not necessarily mean replacing the whole system, it may just involve a few minor tweaks, as why fix what’s not broken.
Allowing your heating to work to its full potential can save you that extra bit of money each year, preventing you from being hit by the rising costs that are affecting people across the country. Even the little things count, take for instance if your radiators do not have Thermostatic Valves then you are potentially wasting money on heating a room which is not in use.