Fuel bills up £300 in 2011

Ofgem, the energy regulator, has said that the average person is paying £300 more than they did last year for their energy bill. This is because of pricing increases by the leading six energy companies. This has brought the average bill up to over £1300 per household.

The government has announced that it will be having a summit with the leading energy providers, which will be attended by the energy secretary and the Prime Minister. The topic of the summit has been announced as, “Helping people to afford energy for the winter.” If you want to reduce your energy bill there are several steps you can take.

TheEnergyShop.com is a website that compares providers. The website has said that last year the average customer who swapped saved over £300. Shopping around for an energy provider can be a good way to save money. Citizens Advice have also said that switching to a payment by direct debit can save consumers around 10%.

If you do switch to direct debit make sure that you are not getting over charged. Check that your bills match with the amount leaving your account, often if you overpay your account will go into credit. There is little point having this money sit with the energy company so be sure that they take it off your next bill.

You can find a guide for paying by direct debit with Ofgem. British Gas, npower and Scottish Power are the energy companies that are known for offering the best savings for those who choose to pay by direct debit.

Making improvements to your home is a great way to save energy. Insulation is a very important part of this and the government has a scheme which offers free insulation to suitable homes. This can reduce your bill by over £100 per year. There are various other improvements you can make your home, such as installing double glazing, draught proofing windows or upgrading your boiler. These will be costly in the short term but over the long term they are sure to save you money.

There are some schemes that offer money off for low income groups. Pensioners who have a small income are entitled to receiving over £100 off their fuel bills in the winter months. Be prepared though, as this is something you need to apply for in advance. Checking the meter is also an important way to avoid being overcharged.


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