Last week saw The Government, energy suppliers, consumer groups and Ofgem meet to agree a way forward on saving homeowners from crippling energy bills, as the Summer’s energy price rises start coming into force.
Whilst the headlines were all about the profits the big six energy providers were making since the increases, many would have been hoping for some form of of compulsory capping and reduction of the present charges.
What actually happened was the parties emerged with a new mantra – Check, Switch & Insulate to save.
In a nutshell, we’re being encouraged to shop round the different suppliers for a cheaper deal, check on our present energy tariff’s to make sure we’re on the best tariff possible and insulate our homes to make them more energy efficient.
Suppliers will be writing to 8 million quarterly credit customers to tell them how they can save just by switching their payment method.
An agreement was also reached on encouraging take up of the cheapest tariff options – some energy providers were singled out recently as not offering their cheapest deal to mystery shoppers.
And from this December, some 4 million homes will be contacted, informing the occupants they’re eligible for free or discounted insulation products like Loft or Cavity Wall insulation.
Although renewables like solar panels already have incentives in place, it was disappointing not to see them mentioned in the summit review as one viable way of reducing energy bills – something homeowners could undertake to organise themselves with the outcome, in most instances being a substantial return on the investment plus cheaper energy bills from the start.
If you’ve already switched, checked and insulated, then installing renewable energy generation on your property may be your only viable option (aside from sitting in the dark, without the heating on).
Solar installation companies are still offering some very good deals on your own paid for installation including shared ownership and finance options. And despite what you may have read about over-subscription, free installation companies are still looking to meet their quota’s of suitable, south facing properties in many areas.
This article first appeared in our weekly homeowner newsletter dated 24th October 2011. Click here to read the full newsletter.