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Energy providers announce big rises as temperatures in the UK plummet to -16C

By Laura Elahi on November 29, 2010

Energy providers have this week revealed their plans to raise prices over the winter months.

Scottish Power is increasing electricity bills by 8.9 per cent. Scottish & Southern Electricity is putting up gas by almost 10 per cent. British Gas, meanwhile, is introducing a 7 per cent rise on gas and electricity.

The news comes as the UK is hit by the biggest cold snap to be recorded in November in 25 years. Over the weekend the coldest overnight temperature was recorded at a low of – 16.1C in Altnaharra, northern Scotland. And temperatures are expected to drop as low as – 20C, says forecasters.

The cold conditions means householders are relying evermore on gas and electrics to stay warm.

Traders meanwhile have reported an increase in the prices of crude oil. The UK’s cold snap has pushed the value above $85 a barrel. According to traders in London the freezing temperatures could boost demand growth beyond the current strong level of 2.3m barrels a day, the second highest in 30 years.

The cold weather has also pushed up the price of other energy commodities, including coal.

Keeping your house warm

It may seem like common sense but simply closing the curtains or blinds will help your home retain its heat. Keeping doors shut will prevent loss of heat and helps a room stay warm. Draught excluders are a good idea too.

Long terms savings can be gained by installing loft insulation and cavity wall insulation, which can save the average British home between £110 and £145 a year.