With the energy price cap set to increase by a whopping 54%, UK residents can expect to pay £1,971 based on average usage. That represents a staggering £693 per year increase for the average customer.
Most of the increase is being driven by spiralling wholesale natural gas prices that have been influenced by a number of factors, including the Russia-Ukraine conflict. With that in mind, let’s explain why bills are going up and actions you can take relating to your gas-using appliances (such as your boiler and central heating) to save money this year.
What’s Driving Up Gas Prices?
In short, lots of elements are at play, each contributing to a rapidly escalating wholesale gas price that is only just showing signs of slowing down (it’s expected to rise again in the autumn/winter of 2022.
One of the principal factors is that there has been a worldwide squeeze on gas supplies brought on by an exceptionally cold autumn/winter in 2020/2021. This forced many countries to dip into their gas reserves, many of which are yet to be fully replenished thanks to a summer devoid of wind.
China has also increased its demand for natural gas, reducing supply, and the Russia-Ukraine conflict has seen gas exports from Russia drop off dramatically. Gas exportation from Russia is already down 41% from last year, and that figure is only set to worsen as the war wears on and Russia is hit with more restrictive sanctions.
So, what changes can you make at home to avoid the worst of the price rises?
What Steps Can You Take to Protect Yourself from Increasing Energy Bills?
While you can’t avoid the price cap increasing, you can make changes to your everyday gas usage to ensure that you aren’t as severely impacted by the price increases.
Book in a Boiler Service
First up, it’s a good idea to service your boiler. Being one of the most gas-hungry appliances in your home, a boiler service helps to ensure everything is running as efficiently as possible, including swapping out and replacing parts, valves, and seals if necessary.
Just a few replacement parts and a general once over can make a massive difference to the efficiency of your boiler (especially if it’s an older model).
Upgrade to a More Energy-Efficient Boiler
If your boiler is more than ten years old, it might be worth exploring the possibility of upgrading to a new, more efficient boiler. The efficiency rating of your boiler makes a huge difference when it comes to gas consumption, and upgrading could be an investment that pays for itself in saved money on energy bills.
Some boilers are even 100% efficient these days, representing an incredible feat of engineering.
Turn Your Thermostat Down a Degree
You can also save money by turning down your thermostat by one degree. That might not seem like much, but it can knock as much as £60-£100 off your annual energy bill.
Plus, you probably won’t perceive any difference in temperature by turning your central heating down by such a small amount, making it a hassle-free way to save money.
Book in a Power Flush
While boiler efficiency is a vital element of your gas consumption, so is your central heating system. Clogged up radiators and pipework full of debris will put more strain on your boiler and drive up its gas usage.
A simple power flush can rid your central heating and associated plumbing of contaminants, sludge, and other debris preventing your radiators from heating up properly. With a fresh bill of health, your clean central heating system can deliver significantly more heat from each pound you spend on heating.
Speak to Wirral Plumbers Today Regarding Your Gas-Using Appliances
From gas fires to your boiler, your gas-using appliances will cost you more than ever before this year. That’s why it’s a good idea to take action now, during the warmer months, to ensure you aren’t stung when autumn rolls around again in a few months’ time.
At Wirral Plumbers, we are helping our customers through the current energy crisis by offering free advice in addition to our heating and plumbing services. Whether you want to give your boiler a clean bill of health with an annual service or are interested in learning more about how we can improve the performance of your central heating, we are here to help.