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Utility bill breakdown

November 5, 2012 Leave a comment
Utility bills contain a variety of charges, but what are you actually paying for? We look at how utility bills are put together, and how to cut down your usage. The average utility bill is made up of several different components. Here is a breakdown of an average utility bill to give you a better idea of where your money is going, a guide on how to use, and tips on how to cut down your usage.

Breakdown of your average utility bill

utility bills breakdown

Meter provision

8% of your gas bill and 7% of your electricity bill. Meter provision is the cost of your meter, plus its installation and maintenance

Environmental costs

4% of your gas bill and 10% of your electricity bill Government environmental initiatives have an impact on the cost of your gas and electricity, because a proportion of your bill is used to subsidies them.

These charges are not itemised on your bill, so you won’t see exactly how much you are contributing.

Environmental schemes which are subsidised by your gas and electricity bills include:

  • Feed-in Tariff scheme (FITs)
  • Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT)
  • Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP)
  • The Renewables Obligation (RO)
  • EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS)

VAT

5% of your gas bill and 5% of your electricity bill. Contrary to popular belief, you do not pay full VAT on gas and electricity, but you do pay some. Currently VAT payments are capped at 5%.

Transmission charges

2% of your gas bill, 5% of your electricity bill Transmission networks are what actually deliver electricity and gas to your home, and some of the cost of building and maintaining transmission chargers is passed on to customers.

Distribution charges

19% of your gas bill, 18% of your electricity bill Some of the cost of building, maintaining and operating the local gas pipes and electricity wires which deliver energy to the home is passed on to customers.

Wholesale energy, supply costs and profit margin

63% of your gas bill, 54% of your electricity bills This is the charge for the actual gas and electricity that you use, which makes up the bulk of your bill.

Wholesale cost refers to the price that the energy supplier has to pay for the gas and electricity they buy.

Supply costs are the costs the energy supplier incurs for the general administration associated with a retail business – for example running a call centre and sending out bills – these vary according to what tariff you are on.

Profit margin is the amount of profit the energy supplier makes from each tariff.

How your energy bill is split

You can find a pie chart from 2011 below that shows you how a typical energy bill is divided up. Next to the pie chart, you’ll also find a table that shows you what the split means in monetary terms for the average household.42% of our energy bill goes on heating

Data for the pie chart and table sourced from the Energy Savings Trust.

With over £756 of your energy bill going on heating and hot water alone – you might consider putting on a warm jumper before turning on the boiler. If you find these figures worrying, there are plenty of things you can do to bring down your energy bills.

Cut your costs

Heating

The biggest portion of your energy bill is taken up with heating your home and your water. Follow these tips and you could save a fortune on your heating bills:

  • Turn your thermostat down by 1 degree. This could save you as much as £55 over the space of a year.
  • Make sure your home is adequately insulated. Loft and cavity wall insulation may require an initial investment, but could easily save you around £310 a year in heating costs.
  • If you’re on a low income, you may be eligible for an energy efficiency grant to make improvements to your home. Find out if you could be eligible and how to apply.
  • Help your heating to work more efficiently. Try using a radiator booster: a simple device that sits on your radiator and circulates the heat more efficiently, saving you between £70 and £140 a year on your bills.
  • Try to block any draughts that are coming into your house and make sure you close your curtains to keep the heat in.

In the kitchen

The next largest portion goes towards powering our washing machines, fridges, freezers and cooking appliances. Keep these costs down with these tips:

  • Do your washing less frequently . It may sound obvious – but keep the number of wash loads down by making sure the machine is full every time.
  • Use the ‘economy’ setting on your washing machine. Many washing powders will now work at temperatures as low as 30 degrees, helping your machine run more efficiently.
  • Dry your clothes outside or on a clothes horse. Tumble dryers use a lot of energy, and should only be used as a last resort.
  • Invest in a Hob Gas Saver to reduce the amount of wasted heat and energy when you cook. It simply slots over the gas burner to increase its efficiency, making energy savings of up to 12%.
  • Replace your current fridge/freezer with an energy efficient model. Look out for the energy efficiency stickers on modern appliances (pictured below). The greener, the better.

Energy efficiency label

Computers, gadgets and electronics

Next up is the amount we spend on consumer electronics such as DVDs, TVs and computers every year. Bring this cost down with the following tips:

  • Don’t leave electronics on standby. If you are forgetful, invest in a standby saver – it will automatically cut the power to any electronics left on standby.
  • Don’t charge your gadgets unnecessarily. For example, don’t leave laptops and mobile phones charging overnight, as this is a big waste of energy.
  • Don’t leave your computer and peripherals on when you’re not using them. Make sure speakers/monitors/printers are turned off when you’ve finished with them.

Lighting

Finally there is the portion of our bills going towards lighting our homes. The quickest, easiest ways to save on your lighting costs are to:

  • Buy energy efficient light bulbs. They last up to 10 times longer than normal lightbulbs and could save you up to £40 over its lifetime.
  • Turn the lights off behind you when you leave a room. Try and get into the habit of switching the lights off as you move through the house.

Cut £’s off your energy bills in minutes

These energy saving tips will help you bring your energy bills down as well as reducing your carbon footprint. However, the quickest and easiest way to save on your energy bills is to compare energy prices online and switch to a cheaper deal.

Information provided by USwitch
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Top 9 Ideas To Save You Energy and Money

April 24, 2012 Leave a comment

1. Insulation – Draw curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping and to reduce draughts.

2. Fridge/Freezers – Replace your inefficient fridge/freezer with an ‘A’ rated model saving you up to £45 a year.

3. Home Laundry – Avoid drying clothes on radiators as it lowers the room temperature, making your boiler work harder.

4. Lighting – Low energy light bulbs last far longer than a conventional bulb and provide the same lighting for a fraction of the running cost.

5. Cooking – When boiling vegetables, only use enough water to keep them covered.

6. Appliances – Always use the television’s on/off switch and don’t leave the television on standby as this wastes energy.

7. Appliances – Only use the required amount of water you need, when boiling the kettle.

8. Home Heating – Don’t overheat your home. Turning your heating down by just 1°C could save you up to 10% on your energy bill.

9. Water Heating – If you have an old thin lagging jacket, fit a new thicker one over it – it will pay for itself in a matter of months.

Compare your home energy rates http://domestic.u-getconsultancy.co.uk

Discuss with us your business energy requirements. We can check your renewal dates, attain new rates, sort out meter related issues and also assist with improving energy efficiency in your work place. http://www.u-getconsultancy.co.uk

If you could save £100, £500 or £1000’s off your energy bill, why wouldn’t you?

March 7, 2012 Leave a comment

If you could save £100, £500 or £1000’s off your energy bill, without paying for the service, why would you not find out more? http://ow.ly/j8Kcy Contact me today. It doesn’t need to be a recession to save money!

Domestic Energy Renewal Catch

January 25, 2012 Leave a comment

Switching energy providers should save you £££’s. In fact, only last week, on ‘Rip-Off Britain‘, they claimed that if we all switched, then UK homes could save around £3bn!!! That’s quite a saving and yet many people still don’t do this. This same also applies to businesses.

Although we could save by switching, there is one slight catch. Typical I hear you cry!

Domestically, if you are in a 1 year fixed contract, you will receive your renewal letter (informing you that your tariff is coming to an end) approximately 4 weeks before the end date (renewal date). The 4 weeks prior, notice letter, is in effect your ‘Termination’ notice and is standard (or should be).

Now you have 3 possible options:

  1. Do Nothing – which means that you’ll automatically roll onto the quoted rates in your renewal letter, which will be higher than any fixed rates. They will also be subject to market changes (up & down).
  2. Stay with your current supplier and arrange a better deal than the one they initial quoted (probably a fixed term/price tariff).
  3. Compare & switch using a comparison site (or do it all yourself).

As this article is entitled ‘Renewal Catch’, I’ll focus on point 3.

So you receive your renewal letter 4 weeks before the end date. You hit that computer for a comparison site, find a good deal and proceed to switch. Excellent…well, not quite.

You see, you now assume that come the end date, your new rates will automatically take effect then. In the UK, it takes between 4-6 weeks for the authorities to switch over from one supplier to another. You’ve probably seen the problem. There could be 2 weeks whereby, well…what happens? What rates do I pay?

The truth is, that if you switch right away, it may take 6 weeks for it to go through, in which time for those extra 2 weeks, you would have been paying ‘out of contract standard rates’ which are higher than fixed and subject to market changes.

So what should you do? As it takes an age to switch in the UK domestic market, I suggest that you keep track of your end date, by placing a reminder in your diary, computer calendar, mobile…etc, for somewhere in the region of 6-8 weeks prior to your end date. This way, you shouldn’t get caught in this corridor of uncertainty and end up paying those unforseen higher rates.

To compare your rates, use our comparison site (Tip: do find out your annual consumption and use this figure, not monthly spend)

For your free business energy quote & switch, contact U-GET Consultancy Services

Cheque Users Losing out on Energy Bills

November 25, 2011 Leave a comment

New research by Which? Money has found that customers paying their energy bills by cheque could be paying almost £100 more on average over a year than paying by direct debit. The research looked at the standard annual duel-fuel tariffs available across the six biggest energy companies  – British Gas, EDF, Eon, Npower, Scottish Power and SSE. The difference in price between paying by quarterly cash and cheque and monthly direct debit came to an average of £98.60 over the course of a year. In order to get the UK-wide average price, annual costs were obtained for each region of the country with an average taken from each.Cheque users missing out Research by charity Age UK shows that use of direct debits to pay utility bills decreases directly with age, particularly among the over 70s. Many younger consumers, especially those in low-income households, also feel that direct debit gives them less control than other payment methods. Energy companies normally offer a discount to people who pay by direct debit as it guarantees payment to them and makes the account easier and cheaper to manage. Some companies do offer prompt payment discounts if you pay by cash and cheque on time, though these won’t be as high as the ongoing discounts given to direct debit customers. Which? researcher Alex Kouzarides commented: ‘While it may suit the energy suppliers to manage direct debit accounts, many people still prefer more traditional methods or simply have no choice in their circumstances. It’s vital that utilities companies develop fair and inclusive systems that ensure all consumers are given a fair deal.’ The full article entitled ‘Time to cheque out?’ features in the December issue of Which? Money magazine.

Winter Approaching, Higher Energy Prices – Take Action!

October 21, 2011 Leave a comment

With the British weather having hit it’s cold spell now and the first steps to a cold winter, you should be checking your energy rates.

Our heating is most likely to have been turned on & turned up recently. How long will it to remain on? Several months, no doubt. What if winter really is bitterly cold this year! Imagine the cost of your bills; far higher than last year.

Although you can take certain actions to to improve your energy/heating efficiency, which often comes at a cost, this does not account for all options in reducing your energy bills. You still use electricity and/or gas, so shouldn’t you start by making sure you are paying the lowest rates possible? I know I would.

Domestically, check out your energy rates on our comparison site: http://domestic.u-getconsultancy.co.uk

Commercially, we can attain quotes for you. Check out our website and contact us today: http://www.u-getconsultancy.co.uk

Save today, don’t waste your cash, get the lowest energy rates possible. Fix those rates and help with your budgeting.

Contact U-GET Today

Energy Bill Rates Check – We help you to pay less

Ever picked up the paper or listened to the news and heard them talk about how Mr & Mrs. Jones were overcharged £1000 for the gas and electricity? It happens quite often!

There may well be a certain ‘spin’ on it by the media, but customers are paying more than they could be, if they only took the time to review their bills. This is the problem though, they don’t always have the time, they can’t get their head around the bill and consequently, neglect it, thereby paying higher rates.

We’ve all been there haven’t we? We receive our utility or insurance bill and fling it to one side. If you do this with an energy bill, you will miss the cut off notification date and they’ll simply roll you onto that higher rate tariff, which you cannot get out of. Not until the next renewal date.

Mr & Mrs Jones may be paying £1000 more than they need to, because they didn’t act on their renewal letter or the energy company has made a mistake with their bill. Either way, don’t just leave it, there is assistance.

If you contact me, I can find out your renewal dates. This can be diarised and at the appropriate time, I will act on it. I will send off a termination notice (preventing you from automatically rolling over contracts), then look for new energy quotes.

If you believe that you have been over-charged, again, do call me, I can check this out, if you provide me with a set of historical bills.

Recently, I saved a client £1600 per year! How, through a simple telephone call to find out his contract terms, I was informed that his rates had increased, despite him being in a fixed contract! This was corrected and the over-payment was credited back to him.

To find out more about your energy bill rates, for business energy and for your home energy, then please contact me, I will be more than happy to help.

07710 118520 or 020 8327 0001

Ian Tiffenberg – U-GET Consultancy Services

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