Fuel Poverty Blamed For Household Unrest

By on December 12th, 2011

Monday, December 12, 2011 10:57

It is said that for a household to be classed as in fuel poverty, it needs to spend at least 10% of its income on fuel to sufficiently heat the home.  According to Consumer Focus, nearly 5.7 million households are in fuel poverty which roughly converts to one in four homes in Britain.

To make things even worse the energy companies have now increase their prices just in time for the winter period, the same time when the household consumption is at its highest.

Price comparison site Money Supermarket.com wanted to see what was happening inside consumers’ households when it came to energy and conducted an online poll.

From the poll it found that one in four homes are waiting till it’s really cold before they turn the heating on, whilst more worryingly, six per cent of people say they cannot afford to switch their heating on.

Scott Byrom, energy manager at the price comparison site said “The temperature may be dropping, but households across the country are getting heated. Arguing over whether to switch on the heating or not seems to be hot on the agenda for struggling bill payers. “

This was backed up in a separate poll which found that a massive 31 per cent of UK adults argue with a family member over turning the heating on.

Scott continued “It‘s worrying how many people are so concerned about affording their energy bills, but consumers can take action to combat the cost of fuel bills and ease the burden of a hefty bill hitting them in the New Year. Consumers need to make sure they are on the best energy deal for their usage and region. Finding the right tariff means bill payers could save on average £237 per year.”

How to save money on your energy bills this winter

In order to avoid the arguments this winter, we have come up with some top tips on how to save money on your energy bills.

  1. By turning your thermostat down by even just one degree you could save up to 10 per cent off your energy bills, saving you £60 a year.
  2. There are a number of ways to save money in the kitchen.  When using the oven, keep the door closed as much as you can, use the right sized pan and ring for each job and allow food to defrost naturally overnight rather than placing them in the microwave. Also when making a brew, only fill the kettle with the exact amount you need.
  3. Turn off all appliances rather than leaving them on standby.  Don’t leave your computer on sleep mode and make sure lights are turned off in rooms that you are not using.
  4. Make sure you get the most out of your washing machine, tumble dryer or dishwasher by filling them up rather than running them for half loads.
  5. Switch all your light bulbs with energy saving bulbs which last ten times longer and can save you up to £55 during the lifetime of the bulb.
  6. Insulate your home. There are free energy grants available for some people to help with the costs of installing cavity wall and loft insulation.
  7. Double glazing can be quite pricey but it will really help to keep the heat in your home and help save up to £100 per year.
  8. Wash your clothes at a lower temperature. Most washing powers these days are just as effective at 30 degrees Celsius.
  9. Because it takes up to ten weeks to switch suppliers, you may want to see if you are on the cheapest tariff your current supplier offers. Generally their online tariffs are the cheapest by an average of £237 compared to their standard rates. Contact your supplier today and make sure you are not getting ripped off.
  10. Finally invest in an energy monitor. Usually around £30 – £70 to purchase they are really handy for watching what you use. In this video below, Les Roberts journalist at Money Supermarket, tests out the EDF EcoManager which gives a daily and monthly breakdown of how much energy your appliances are using and more importantly, how much they are costing you.


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