As more of us get to grips with working from home, and schoolchildren across the country log on remotely to access their final term of the academic year, so domestic energy bills are inevitably on the rise. More people being at home during the day leads to more electricity being required to power lighting, heating, IT systems and entertainment such as TVs, phone and tablet chargers and games consoles. This extra use inevitably leads to increased energy bills and a greater reliance on a good quality, energy supply.
The good news is that, according to OFGEM, the UK Government’s regulatory body for energy supply, UK residents need not worry about their energy supplies being disrupted. Currently, all electricity and gas networks and suppliers are working to deliver the same levels of service as before the UK lockdown. Energy engineers have been designated ‘key workers’ and have permission to carry on working to keep the UK’s lights on, cookers working and the gas and electricity flowing properly. Vulnerable customers are being prioritised for any emergency customer support required. Up-to-date information and advice is available on OFGEM’s website: www.ofgem.gov.uk.
More good news comes in the shape of Government help for eligible people who are struggling to pay their energy bills. An emergency package has been launched with energy suppliers to help anyone facing hardship as a direct result of the restrictions placed upon us from the Coronavirus pandemic. Options will include reviewing payment plans and debt repayment arrangements, allowing payment breaks or bill reductions and providing access to hardship funds.
Additionally, no pre-payment credit meters will be disconnected while the country remains on lockdown, and customers who are unable to add credit can explore other options, such as nominating a third party for credit top ups, or being sent a pre-loaded card to ensure a continuous energy supply. To find out whether you are eligible for help with energy bills through the Government’s emergency measures, visit www.gov.uk/government/news/government-agrees-measures-with-energy-industry-to-support-vulnerable-people-through-covid-19.
As working and studying from home becomes more embedded into the national psyche and ‘way of doing things’, so this increased demand on domestic energy may well carry on past the current lockdown living conditions. People everywhere are noticing positive changes in air quality, pollution levels, wildlife numbers and pace of life. Prior to Coronavirus taking over the news agenda, climate change was a ‘hot’ media topic, with many people looking for ways to live more sustainably to protect the planet and preserve valuable resources.
Alternative energy, such as solar and hydro power, bridges the gap between the desire to live sustainably and the increased likelihood of people working and studying at home. Once the initial investment into having photovoltaic solar panels installed has been paid off, the savings to domestic energy bills can be significant, with any energy that is created and not used straight away stored for future use. All you need to gets started is a flat surface, such as a roof, that captures the sun when it shines. Solar power can be installed alongside more mainstream energy sources to ensure the best of both worlds.
Be Energy Savvy At Home
Whether you source your electricity for the National Grid, or are taking advantage of alternative, sustainable technology such as solar power, there are many ways to reduce your energy use, and so your bills, at home. Turn off lights when you are not using them, and check that your heating is not set too high as the temperatures start to rise outside. Don’t leave computers, TVs or games consoles on standby – turn them off at the mains overnight, during meals or when you are out for your daily exercise. Only fill the kettle with enough water to make a cup of tea or cook some veg, as constantly heating up the same water will waste electricity needlessly.
Clean the filters in your vacuum cleaner, washing machine and tumble dryer regularly to ensure that they are working as efficiently as possible. Wash clothes at a lower temperature and hang them out to dry as often as you can to cut down on tumble dryer use. Switch to energy-saving lightbulbs and look for energy-efficient appliances. Use an energy price comparison service to find the cheapest suppliers to help reduce your bills while working and studying at home. Above all, stay home and stay safe while the current situation continues to play out.
Find Out More
For more information about installing solar power, or a free, no-obligation quote for reducing gas and electricity bills this Spring, Get In Touch with Pure Energy Solutions today.