Have you received an energy bill through the post recently that made your eyes water? There are any number of reasons why your energy bills may be very high or higher than you were expecting but here are some likely culprits.
One of the main ways you might be able to make a saving on your gas and electricity bills is by switching supplier or at least ensuring you switch tariff and ensure you're not languishing on a "standard" tariff. If you don't know whether you are on a "standard" tariff or not, the easiest way to find out is to answer the following questions. If you answer "no" to either of these then it's highly likely you're on a standard tariff:
The reason for asking this is that if you move house, your energy supply contract is with the previous tenants energy supplier. However, once you move in, the supplier will automatically default you on to their "standard" tariff which is, (you guessed it!) their most expensive rate.
This relates to those who have switched in the past but haven't done it since. When you do switch, it's now common place that tariffs are offered for 12-months, after which point you will automatically roll-over on to your supplier's "standard" tariff unless you switch again.
Alternatively, you'll know you're on a standard rate tariff if the tariff name on a recent bill has 'standard' in its title. The difference in price between a supplier's standard tariff and their cheapest tariff can be hundreds of pounds per year. If you are on a standard tariff then you can almost certainly save money by switching energy providers or by switching to a cheaper tariff with the same energy provider. You can compare every UK energy tariff with UKPower.co.uk by entering your postcode below.
There are two types of billing – estimated and accurate. Estimated billing is where the energy provider estimates how much gas and electricity you've used. With accurate billing you provide the energy supplier with meter readings on a regular basis, ensuring you pay for the exact amount of energy you've used and therefore avoid building up debt which can prevent you from switching further down the line.
If you've recently moved from estimated billing to accurate billing and you tend to use a lot of gas and electricity, then you may have previously been paying a lower amount than you should have and your new, accurate bill by comparison may seem very expensive.
It goes without saying that the more energy you use the higher your bill will be. As a rough guide, the average energy consumption for various sized houses is shown in the table below. You can compare these values against the energy consumption shown on your bill to get a rough idea if you are a high energy user or not.
|House Size||Average Monthly Energy Consumption||Average Annual Energy Consumption|
|Flat or Small House||166kWh||666kWh||2,000kWh||8,000kWh|
Using a lot of energy may be an indication of an energy inefficient house. There are many ways to improve the energy efficiency of your home, a few ideas are provided below:
This is very rare, but in extreme circumstances, your meter may not be accurately be recording your energy usage. You can ask your energy provider to come out to check your meter to ensure that it is working correctly, however if there is shown to be no fault with the meter you may be charged for the call out, so before calling your energy supplier it is a good idea to check your usage over the last 3 months and see how it has changed. If it has increased significantly ask yourself, is there a reason for this? Perhaps you've bought a new appliance that's consuming a lot of energy or if it's moving into the winter months you may be using your heating and lighting more frequently.