There is nothing worse than being greeted with a hefty energy bill at the end of the month when finances are already strained as it is.
For many people, this issue has become such a burden they actually find themselves foregoing heating in favour of putting food on the table. A sad indictment of the times.
Thankfully however, there is help at hand, often even from the energy suppliers themselves.
Help Is Often Available
If you contact your energy supplier, you may very well find you are entitled to either a loan towards paying for energy efficiency measures such as wall cavity insulation, loft insulation or a new boiler, or you may even find you are entitled to funding for said items.
Now while the government recently struck a deal with the energy firms to reduce their input into the Energy Company Obligation scheme, you may still find yourself entitled to some support from that scheme, or at least another similar one.
If you can get help from such a scheme, you could potentially save hundreds of pounds a year. That’s because your home loses no end of heating through the walls and roof. In fact, it is often suggested you could save up to £300 a year just with cavity wall insulation and loft insulation.
The Benefits of Home Improvement
The Energy Saving Trust has a nice breakdown of how much you could save from cavity wall insulation, estimating it can save upwards of £140 a year, and only costs roughly £500 to install. So in only four years you will have earned back the cost of having it installed.
For loft insulation, the group estimates a saving of £180 per year, and an installation cost of roughly £300 – so within only two years you will be earning back the money you spent.
It is well worth your time to call the Energy Saving Trust on 0300 123 1234 (England) and find out whether you are entitled to any support on these measures.
The Green Deal Scheme
If you don’t qualify for support under any of these initiatives, you can still possibly benefit from the Green Deal scheme. This provides a loan towards cavity wall insulation and such forth, which you only pay at a similar level to the money you are likely to save from installing the measures. If you feel confident, you could even try to do your loft insulation yourself.
While these measures are a little more involved, there are plenty of ways to save pennies in the home if you don’t think you are entitled to any support from the government or your energy supplier.
First of all, if you have a thermostat fitted, just turning the temperature down half a degree is often a way to save money each year. This will of course depend on how high you already have the setting, but for half a degree it is worth a go. Similarly, look to fit draft excluders on doors, letterboxes and so on and again you could save a few pounds here and there.
Other tips to bear in mind when it comes to energy bills include, switching providers – being ruthless can often save you a lot of money in this sense, doing your own meter reading for more accurate bills, and switching to online tariffs.
Louisa Jenkin is a freelance home improvement blogger. She blogs on a number of topics including the benefits of Selco cavity wall insulation for improving energy efficiency in the home.