Picture the scene: you’re sat at home when you hear the familiar sound of the mailman walking down your path. He has a stack of brown envelopes clutched in his hand, and you can but pray that those designated letters are meant for your next door neighbours. Sadly, as you see him stuff the dreaded envelopes through your letterbox, you realise you are the unlucky recipient. Yes, we are talking about your utility bills, and if you have watched the news recently, there should be a valid reason why you are afraid to open your bills today. Our energy companies are playing us like fools, as they insist on hiking up their energy prices. Still, there are other reasons why your bill may be higher than expected. These are just some of them.
1. You are still using the same utility companies – there are plenty of energy companies out there, so you don’t have to stick with the same provider. Use an energy comparison service and find yourself a better deal. Try and get on a fixed-rate deal too. W hile there are advantages to a flexible deal – prices may drop – you may also find the price rises significantly too.
2. You rely on your central heating a little bit too much – there are other sources of heating, and they can be used to reduce your energy bill considerably. Infrared heating, underfloor heating, and solar panels are viable alternatives. Of course, in the warmer months, you don’t need to rely on many heating sources at all. Turn the timer on your thermostat off, and make the most of natural sunlight to heat your home during the day and into the evening.
3. You have bad habits – from using your washing machine for a half-load to leaving every light on around your home, your bad habits are hiking up your bill. Then there’s the amount of appliances you leave plugged in overnight. Get an energy audit from your utility company and they will shed light on the bad habits you fall into. Then form a plan of action, ensuring everybody in your family plays their part in adhering to a good practice around the house.
4. Your appliances aren’t energy-efficient – We are living in the 21st Century, so it’s probably time you upgraded your appliances from the rickety old machines your grandmother passed over to you to something modern, preferably with the Energy-Star sticker of guarantee.
5. Your home needs insulating – we can use a lot of energy and waste a lot of money through poor insulation around the home. A full renovation may be in order, including replacing doors and windows if they are old and worn. Alternatively, weatherstrip around those fixtures and keep out any nasty drafts while preserving the heat within your home.
Utility bills are a necessary evil for many of us, but you can do your bit to reduce the costs you pay every month or quarter. Heeding our advice will allay your fear of the mailman, and besides, he would rather see your lovely smile when he comes to your door, rather than the unfriendly scowl you give him from behind your curtains when he delivers your mail.
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