Times are hard. The price of living is ever increasing and household expenses can make it near impossible for families to indulge in paid leisure activities. The strain of finding the balance between maintaining a happy home, meeting bill payments and enjoying life experiences is becoming increasingly difficult.
Horizons, the foodservice consultancy, recently released a report surrounding 2011 dining figures which states that there has been a further decline in the amount of individuals who are choosing to eat out. 2011 saw a massive 26 per cent year-on-year decrease, with a huge 92 per cent of diners spending less than £25 per meal.
Statistics such as these reflect our current state of living. As many members of the Great British public struggle to pay monthly food bills, dining out and days away can seem like a pipedream. Little energy efficient changes within your household can make a big difference.
Understanding your family’s water, gas and electric usage is the first step to reducing your monthly outgoings. Staying with the same supplier doesn’t always secure the best prices. Loyalty isn’t always rewarded, and with great deals from companies such as British Gas on fixed rate, fixed term contracts, you might find switching the most cost efficient option for you.
When selecting a supplier, features within energy packages can potentially cut your expenses. British Gas Smart Meters and energy efficiency experts offer individual insight into your energy consumption. This small changes can be made within your daily routine to save you money while benefiting the environment.
British Gas Smart Meters are currently being installed by experts across the country, with British Gas committed to installing an impressive two million meters by the end of the year. Much more than a fancy gadget, Smart Meters allow customers to monitor and manage their energy usage by gaining an understanding of how and when they rely on resources.
This innovation in home energy comes hand in hand with recent legal commitments made by British Gas and five other leading UK energy suppliers. By autumn 2012 providers have promised to offer customers honest tariffs which are reflective of their energy usage. This alone is likely to reduce energy bills throughout the country.
A recent statement from the Cabinet Office highlighted that: ‘There are more than 120 different tariffs. Currently, seven out of 10 people aren’t on the best tariff for them.’
It continued, ‘despite the amount of energy they use varying over time… In 2010, 74 per cent of people did not change their tariff.’
Before the system is in full swing, it may be beneficial to ring your energy supplier and ask for an assessment of your current consumption. From this, customer service advisors should be able to offer guidance on the most suitable tariff for you.
In an extension to the information surrounding tariff solutions, Nick Clegg emphasised our current position:
‘We are undergoing a profound transformation within our economy. And for the first time ever our economic and environmental mantras are exactly the same: waste not, want not.’
This very mantra should be applied to the way you use energy around your home. By considering ecological sustainability, you will see a fall in the cost of your gas, electric and water.
Change all lighting in the home to energy saving bulbs, which are now available widely for much less than their original price. Energy bulbs will save you money progressively over periods of time due to the reduction in wattage and the lifespan of the light bulbs. In comparison to the one year lifespan of a standard bulb, energy saving bulbs can last well over ten years.
Turning your thermostat down just 1 degree C can save approximately £55 a year. Temperatures within the home can also be managed by shutting doors to particularly cold rooms in the house and opening and closing windows to encourage airflow. Draft stoppers are useful accessories which can ensure any warm air is trapped in living areas and cold breezes are kept out.
British Gas Smart Meters are making their way nationwide this year. With so many economic and environmental changes being enforced by government, 2012 is the best time to switch supplier. Monitor and manage your own consumption, take control of your individual energy efficiency, reduce your bills and boost your cash flow.
This is a guest post