It is common knowledge domestic fuel bills have risen substantially over recent years and the trend is set to continue as new energy initiatives are set to be subsidised by consumers. It is also well-known wholesale fuel costs have dropped during this period, which means savings have not been passed on to consumers.
The UK Government has also urged the British public to conserve energy wherever possible in order to satisfy short-term carbon emission targets (this may also have something to do with decreased fuel supply and limited reserves). Unfortunately, after experiencing one of its coldest winters in more than half a century, domestic energy consumers in the UK are expecting record high energy bills this month.
According to experts, the average energy bill for January will hit £200 this month, as consumers have been forced to crank up their central heating thermostats in order to survive the Arctic weather. With no clear sign the adverse weather is going to improve over the coming weeks, it is possible the problem will be further compounded before thermostats can be turned down a notch or two. Although isolated cases are far worse for some than others, such as 60-year old Tony Stamford’s upsetting situation – he suffers from cerebral palsy, diabetes and is partially deaf yet has been left without central heating for 3 months as Basildon Council awaits a new boiler – it would seem most people are experiencing similar problems that require certain remedies.
In this exceptional period of high fuel bills and cold weather, it is worth remembering there are a number of measures in place that help people make their homes more comfortable and affordable. Homeowners in England can take advantage of a Government grant of up to £3,500 to improve the heating and insulation in their homes. Similar schemes exist in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland, where up to 10,000 more families are also due help through the Scottish Government’s Energy Assistance Package. Homeowners can also take advantage of the UK Government’s boiler scrappage scheme, whilst people who fall behind with their fuel bills can sometimes receive emergency grants or loans from The British Gas Energy Trust.