Utility Bills

Utility Bills

U

tility bills are what households all over the UK worry about. They seem to go up constantly, and there is little anyone seems to be able to do about it. With the announcement by many energy suppliers that they would be pulling fixed-rate tariffs, many households are worrying over whether they are able to pay the bills.

If you want to make sure that you and your family are financially secure, you need to do your research and plan your budget accordingly. We are going to help you do just that.

If I can pay the bills, I'm happy.

Morgan Wootten.

Why Do Utility Bills Go Up Every Year?

There are many reasons why energy suppliers constantly put up their prices. It used to be a case of rising oil prices together with inflation. All energy suppliers import from abroad, with a couple of exceptions. This costs more every year. Recently, oil prices have crashed, and inflation has been kept at an all-time low.

In short, many utility companies will put up their prices because they can get away with it. Energy is not something a household can compromise on. Everyone needs light and warmth if they are going to get through the cold winter months.

Unfortunately, it looks like the government is going to do little about it. So you have to take control to make sure that you save money and get a great deal.

What About Fixed-Rate Tariffs?

Fixed-rate tariffs allowed you to lock in your energy bills for two years. At the end of the tariff, you would be able to renew it or go back to standard energy tariffs, where you are at the mercy of the markets. With their removal by many energy companies, the majority will find themselves on standard energy tariffs again.

For now, energy suppliers will have to honour their original agreements with you. That means if you are currently on a fixed-rate tariff they are obliged to allow it to run. They are unable to change it because you signed a contract to lock in your prices.

If you are still on one of these tariffs, you have no need to change your energy supplier now.

Switching is Your Best Tool

The government has tried to make it easier to switch between energy companies in recent years. If you do your research and go through the process of switching, you can be with another supplier within 72 hours. It has become faster than ever before, and so for a lot of people they are switching between suppliers all the time.

Many people are taking advantage of the introductory rates offered by each supplier. Once these rates elapse, they will move to another supplier. For a time, this is a valid strategy. But you will eventually run out of introductory offers to take advantage of.

Switching remains your best tool because even slight differences in price can make a huge difference in the long-term. Make sure that you are constantly using energy comparison calculators to get the best deal.

Plan Your Budget Accordingly

To make sure that you are never surprised by your energy bills, plan your budget a few months ahead of you. There is no worse feeling than dreading the post landing on the doormat at the end of every month. If you already know what you expect to pay, there is no reason why you should fear the bills.

Keep a sheet of your incomings and outgoings every month. This is a good financial habit to get into. That way you can make informed choices about your household finances in general, not just with your utilities.

Maintain a fluid budget. If there are any changes in your life, go back to the budget and change the numbers around. These figures are not set in stone.

Going Green Can Pay Dividends

Going green can make a big difference to your household bills. It is clear that the energy companies are moving in lock step with each other. It should come as no surprise that prices are relatively similar, and they always go up every single year. With no end to this nonsense in sight, you have to be proactive about making savings.

Making your home more environmentally friendly can allow you to use less energy and save money. There are a lot of options on the table, including major home additions to just changing the way you live your life.

One big step you can take is to install solar panels on the roof of your house. There are many government initiatives available for people that want to go green. Over time, these can become profitable. You just need to make sure your house is facing in the correct direction.

But you do not have to spend such a significant amount of money to go green. Turning down the central heating and putting on a jumper is an easy way to avoid spending a lot of money during the winter months. In the summer, open the windows instead of turning on the air-conditioning.

Little changes like this can save the planet and reduce your energy bills by hundreds of pounds every year. Educate your family to make sure they know what you are trying to do and why you are doing it.

What is the Future of Utility Bills?

Utility bills are only going to go one way, and that direction is up. The UK government seems wholly uninterested in solving this problem, and with the declining Sterling people can expect their bills to soar even higher. Over the next few years, Brexit could have an enormous impact on utility bills.

The key is to make sure you are never taken by surprise. Be aware of the trends going on in the industry and make a solid financial plan. Learn to think about the way you are using energy so you do not become a slave to the prices the energy companies dictate.

Follow all these tips, and be willing to switch if you are not getting a good deal, and you will save a lot of money every year on your utility bills. 

What are your utility bill horror stories?