saving money

Don’t get a shock when your next energy bill arrives

Scottish Power customers received a shock recently when the company revealed plans to increase the cost of electricity and gas by an average of 10 and 19 per cent respectively – and this should serve as a timely reminder of the benefits of being proactive in the battle against the rise in energy prices.

Some 2.4million households across Britain will be hit hard by Scottish Power’s price hike and fears are growing that rival firms will announce similar rises over the coming months.

compare energy prices
Compare energy prices to avoid shocks!

Explaining the controversial change in pricing structure, Raymond Jack, Scottish Power’s UK retail director, told the company’s website: “Wholesale prices for gas and electricity have increased significantly since the end of last year and continuing unrest in global energy markets means future prices are volatile.

“We understand times are difficult for many people, and we have done what we can to absorb these additional costs for as long as possible to minimise the impact on our customers.

“The change in prices announced is as a result of sustained increases in the wholesale energy market, with the wholesale costs for an average Dual Fuel customer up 30% since November 2010.

“The rising burden of non-energy costs faced by Britain’s energy suppliers, including the cost of meeting Government environmental and social programmes and the cost of distributing electricity on the national grid, has also placed further upward pressure on energy bills.”

While it may seem all doom and gloom at the moment for energy customers, it’s well worth bearing in mind that help is only a few clicks away.  Compare gas and electricity prices at moneysupermarket and switching suppliers through the price comparison website could result in a saving of as much as £382.

Securing a cheaper deal for gas and electricity, though, is just one part of an on-going process by which you can help yourself and really make a difference to your household bills. Making a few select lifestyle changes can have a big impact on the amount of energy you use and here’s where a little common sense comes into play.

Most of us are guilty of picking up sloppy habits over the years around the house, whether it’s leaving the TV on standby and the lights on or setting off the dishwasher with just a few plates and dishes in it. Well, it’s time to buck up your ideas and hammer home the importance of not being wasteful to the rest of the family as well. There are also a host of energy-saving appliances and accessories that, although expensive to buy, will ultimately pay for themselves and return impressive savings over an extended period of time. Swapping from old-fashioned light bulbs to energy-efficient ones, for example, means they could last for up to 10 times longer and put that little bit extra back into your wallet.

photo: RyAwesome.

By High Yield Savings Accounts

The founder and editor of with a passion for personal finance and experience in the financial industry.