Is There Anything We Can Do to Combat Rising Fuel Costs?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Freezing temperatures and icy walkways aren't the only reasons many people dread visiting their mailboxes. Finding the dreaded energy bills are also a cause for dismay. In nations like the UK, energy rates have increased sharply to coincide with this winter season; nearly all the big 6 energy providers have increased their rates. Not surprisingly, many households are trying to reduce their energy costs in any way they can. The following tips may help you cut your costs this winter and save more on your energy bills.

Shop Around

In many markets, consumers are no longer locked into the services of one particular energy provider. Many people can save a considerable amount on their energy bills by switching energy providers. It may take some careful research, but many internet sites such as UK Power’s energy comparison have sprouted up to help consumers locate energy suppliers that suit their needs as well as their budgets. If your current energy provider has ramped up your rates, check out one of these helpful consumer websites. They may lead you to special initiatives that welcome new customers with immense cost-savings. If your local grocery store continued to raise rates, you'd consider shopping for better deals at another store. The same premise can support your energy consumption too.

Keep the Cold Out

You may be able to help your furnace (and pocketbook) out this winter by taking time to shore up drafty areas of your home. By adding insulation, for instance, you'll be able to keep the heat indoors so your heating system will have to work less. If you don't have storm windows, you might try plastic sheeting over your windows that effectively locks out drafts and seals in heat. A bit of caulk and a careful eye can help you seal other spots around your home that are letting heat slip out and cold air sneak in. These measures may seem small, but their cost-savings adds up over time and they help keep your interior more comfortable during the winter months.

Can't Turn Down the Heat? Cut Down on Electricity

Sometimes energy usage is a juggling game. There are going to be days where you simply can't turn up the heat. Cold fronts move in and life can be terribly uncomfortable without an adequate heat supply. So, when you can't save on the heating aspects of your home, consider reducing other areas of energy consumption like electricity. Keep all lights off, for instance, except the one you are using. Watch television by candlelight instead of incandescent light. While old fashioned, these small gestures help you cut back on your energy use and, therefore, lead to a reduced energy bill.

You can also try to use large appliances like dishwashers and washing machines and dryers during non-peak areas. Of course, keep in mind that some companies are raising their night rates drastically for energy consumption. In those cases, you might want to avoid running your major appliances. Also, keep all electrical devices unplugged unless they are in use. Week by week these money-saving measures add up to savings.

Taken together, all these tips may help you reduce some of your energy-related costs. The time to start using these tips, however, is right now before the coldest days of the season strike!

Harry Lawrance is a regular contributor to blogs, writing on the subject of energy saving and reducing energy consumption.