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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

Turning down the business gas but keeping business electricity on full!

by Energy Advice Line

So a lot of small businesses have been enjoying the mini heatwave – it can’t last, can it? Although many are able to reduce their energy consumption for others it’s a case of turning it up..if you’re making ice cream that is and a few other thirst quenchers for the hot weather!

Even if it is warm outside health and safety will want to make sure that your workers are working in offices and factories that are temperature controlled – so many offices nowadys have windows that cannot be opened so the air conditioning is on permanently. Okay for those that have motion sensitive sensors they have an element of control but for many businesses there is stil a need to be careful about how much energy is being wasted.

It’s not just offices and factories either that are in danger, many retail outlets have similar issues – do you ever look up in supermarkets and large stores and wonder how much energy a business is wasting heating their roof space? Well for businesses in this environment it is a big concern and so it is prudent to take all possible measures to reduce those business energy bills for switching off unnecessary lights and equipment to insulation and use of solar power, where viable.

One of the most important things a busines can do though is to check their bills and tariffs and visit an business energy price comparison site to see if they are truly getting the best deal. Using an independent broker can save a company a lot of money and stress as these companies will help you through the termination and contract set up and keep a watchful eye on your business electricity and business gas contracts in the future also ensuring that you are always on the best possible rates.

Practical energy management

April 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Reducing energy use makes perfect business sense; it saves money, enhances corporate reputation and helps everyone in the fight against climate change.

The Carbon Trust provides simple, effective advice to
help businesses and public sector organisations take action
to reduce carbon emissions, and the simplest way to do
this is to use energy more efficiently.

This management overview provides practical advice
to businesses on how to identify energy waste and
implement savings. This will ensure long-term benefits
for people, the business and the environment.

Although many organisations believe energy is a fixed overhead,
it actually represents one of the best opportunities for saving money.

For a copy of this guide or any others, please email:

info@u-getconsultancy.co.uk

Energy — it’s much more manageable than you think

April 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Energy is not an unmanageable overhead — it is one of the largest controllable costs in most organisations.

Cutting energy costs through improved energy
efficiency goes straight to the bottom line, making
your organisation immediately more competitive.
And saving energy doesn’t need massive investment in
time or money. At minimal cost you could save up to
20% on your energy bills — which could be equal to a
5% sales increase.

The Carbon Trust fact sheet can help you to begin in cutting your energy costs. Email now to receive your free copy:

info@u-getconsultancy.co.uk

For your FREE energy bill review, contact us today

U-GET Consultancy Services, ‘The Solution to your Energy Problem’.

April 27, 2011 Leave a comment

The Problem

  • Is my business paying too much in utility costs?
  • Does my business consume a lot of energy?
  • When did I last check my energy rates?
  • Am I on the best tariff available?
  • Why should I spend valuable time calling suppliers when U-GET will do it for me?

We all want to pay the least possible for products and services. Often the research can be tiresome and when you don’t understand the industry and service, you can be left even more confused!

The Solution

How would you like your energy bills to be reviewed, for FREE, to find you the best rates from the market?

Our goal is to save you as much money as possible.

Our experience helps our customers to avoid:

–       inflated rates

–       additional charges

–       pitfalls the utility sector has in store

With winter just around the corner and rising energy prices, now could be a good time to switch.

Contact U-GET today, to see what we can do for you.

The Problem

COULD YOUR BUSINESS SAVE £000’s BY SIMPLY SWITCHING ENERGY PROVIDERS?

  • · Is my business paying too much utility costs?
  • · Does my business consume a lot of energy?
  • · When did I last check my energy rates?
  • · Am I on the best tariff available?
  • · Why should I spend valuable time calling suppliers when U-GET will do it for me?

We all want to pay the least amount for products and services, making savings where possible. Often this can require tiresome research and when you don’t understand the industry and service, you can be left even more confused!

The Solution

How would you like your energy bills to be reviewed, for FREE, to discover the best rates and providers from the market?

Our goal is to save you as much money as possible.

Our experience helps our customers to avoid:

– inflated rates

– additional charges

– pitfalls the utility sector has in store

With winter just around the corner and rising energy prices, now could be a good time to switch.

Could British Summer Time help energy efficiency?

April 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Environmental experts have called for British Summer Time to be extended to improve energy efficiency and help the UK tackle climate change.

(The article continues http://t.co/r1TdDMZ)

By adjusting the daylight hours so that it is better aligned with the hours that we are awake, is surely logical. To quantify this in simple terms, rather than having to use lighting (based on a standard Winters day) at 4pm we would in fact, not require it until 5pm. A full hours worth of electricity savings.

The earlier darkness falls, the longer the effects of solar cooling. Heating may not be used as much if we stayed with BST, particularly in the late afternoon period and on into the evening.

Could there also be benefits for Solar UV technologies?

As the article states, we do need to trial it, to see what the outcome would be. By not doing so, we will all be in the DARK!

Freezing weather along with price hikes will see increased energy bills. Let’s reduce these NOW!

April 27, 2011 Leave a comment

With this present cold spell and recent energy price hikes, it is safe to say that as consumers we are likely to be paying far more to our energy providers when that next bill comes round!

Our heating’s on longer, as too is our lighting too. Add to this mix the fact that we are likely to be staying indoors for greater periods of time, making more hot drinks and food as well! This all adds up to a greater amount of energy consumption.

It’s difficult in the cold weather period to get that balance correct. You want to stay warm and healthy, yet this means cranking up our energy sources and that means greater expenditure.

OFGEM have an information leaflet to help consumers with their winter energy concerns. They highlight four key areas:

  1. Be energy-prepared – knowing your tariff and annual consumption details allows you to be in control. Having a clear idea of your annual consumption will give you a much better idea as to your annual spend, rather than your monthly/quarterly payments.
  2. Shop around for the best deals – Loyalty nowadays doesn’t seem to pay! Why stay with your current supplier when there is likely to be a better tariff elsewhere. Shop around, either doing the leg-work yourself, comparison site or an energy broker such as U-GET. Would you pay £100 more for a television from one shop, simply because you have bought other products from them? The same is true of the energy industry.
  3. Become energy efficient – Seek advice on how to reduce your energy consumption. There are simple DIY procedures to take, consulting energy assessor experts as well as speaking to organisations like the Energy Saving Trust.
  4. Get help with your bills – help and advice is available for those having trouble paying their bills.

Don’t sit about doing nothing. The quicker you act, the greater the savings you could be making and many of theses services are FREE.

Put off until tomorrow what you can do today!

April 27, 2011 Leave a comment

That’s correct, you read it right, your eyes weren’t playing tricks on you. So why this title?

I was thinking about business and their reluctance, at times, to do certain tasks immediately, but instead, setting them aside for another day. It also made me ponder whether this attitude is in fact a national habit! Do other countries have this similar trait?

So what made me pose the question? Well, like many of us, I have spoken to businesses, waited on them to respond to me, waited for deliveries that never appear, workmen that don’t show on time yet think nothing to call, apologise and even re-schedule. No doubt we’ve all had these experiences. I’m just astounded though, that so many businesses can still be in operation with this level of customer apathy.

It has made me scrutinise my own area of work and the business that I provide. Being a service provider there can often be a reluctance to fully comprehend that sometimes, putting off until tomorrow may very well lead to higher costs and missed opportunities.

Take my own businessFree Business Energy Bill Review Service. We do exactly what it says on the tin. We’ll review your existing energy bill to make sure that you are paying the best (lowest) possible rates. We’ll even switch it for you, upon your say so. We do this free of charge and you don’t pay us a penny.

Perhaps it sounds too good to be true, I’m sure it does, however, wouldn’t it be worth using this service to find out whether or not you can in fact reduce your rates and consequently save your business £££’s? And, if you do put off until tomorrow, you may find the energy rates have just gone up – a missed opportunity!

Now what business doesn’t want to save money, especially in these economic times?

How about the example that I saved one business over £20,000!

Yes, by not being on a contract they were paying over 40% more than they should have been.

Another company was saved £3,000, again, due to not being in a contract and consequently paying higher ‘out-of-contract’ rates.

This brings me back to my original question: Why do businesses put off until tomorrow, what they could do today?

Can they ever change? Is it just the SME market that has this attitude or also the larger organisations?

How U-GET can save your business £££’s

April 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Following on from my last post: “I love spending money on my Energy Bills!” I wanted to back it up with case studies.

It is surprising, even today, when we are bombarded with adverts about comparing this, that and the other (including Meerkats), that some businesses still don’t search out the best deals, quotes, rates etc for whatever service they are seeking at that particular time.

Nowadays, there appears to be very little reward for loyalty. The only rewards out there, seem to be for new customers! That being the case, then it really does ‘pay’ to shop around. As I referred to in the previous blog, there are reasons as to why people don’t do this. For me, my job is to help people attain these savings, through a direct, independent and impartial service from the various energy companies.

At U-GET we work for you, building a trusting relationship and allowing you to concentrate on your key business requirements, whilst we aim to cut your costs.

One property management company saved over £3000, through the utilisation of our service. How was this achieved? Well, they weren’t in a contract and by not being in one, were subject to ‘deemed rates’, which are normally far more than fixed contract rates. By moving them onto a contract, we attained these savings for them. This level of savings, wasn’t even for a particularly high level of consumption, either!

Another example has seen a saving in the 10′s of thousands of £’s. Again, simply due to the client being on an ‘out-of-contract’ tariff.

What many people do not realise, is that when you receive your renewal letter (often 3-4 months before the end date/renewal date), you only have a certain amount of time (as indicated on that letter from your supplier) by which you need to let your supplier know whether you will remain with them or move away.

‘Forget to notify them by this date and they will lock you into the tariff for the time & rate that they specify

At U-GET, we take care of this, preventing you from falling into this ‘trap’.

You need to act promptly to your renewal letter, or if you wish, contact us at U-GET and we can find out your renewal & termination dates, note them and respond to them accordingly.

You’ll not have to worry about getting caught in that trap and yet, have the peace of mind, knowing that U-GET will be working for you, to achieve the lowest rates possible for your business.

How to use less water – Kitchen water savers

April 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Fix dripping taps

Broken taps can waste 12 to 20 litres of water a day. New washers cost only a few pence but will save you money if your water is metered.

  • Saving A dripping tap can waste 12 to 20 litres of water a day – that’s around 2-4p* worth of water

Drink from a jug

Jug of waterCut wastage by chilling water in the fridge.

If you want cold drinking water, fill a jug from the tap and put it in the fridge to chill. This would save 10 litres of water a day compared to running the tap until it turns cold each time.

  • Saving 10 litres (2p) per day

Only boil what you need

Save water as well as energy by using the minimum amount of water required when you boil water in saucepans and kettles.

  • Saving Around 10 litres (2p) a day

Turn off the tap

Don’t rinse dishes under a running tap – use a bowl of water instead. Try also to use a bowl when washing vegetables and the leftover water can then be used for watering house plants.

  • Saving 20 litres (4p) a day

Fill the washing machine

Clean full loads of washing to save water.Loading washing machine

Make sure your washing machine has a full load before you switch it on. Those labelled A for energy efficiency tend to be water efficient, too.

  • Saving Five to 10 litres (around 1-2p) every wash

Use the dishwasher more efficiently

If you own a dishwasher, fill it up fully before you use it and always use its eco program setting, which uses less water.

  • Saving Five to 10 litres a cycle (around 1-2p)
* ‘Money saved’ figures refer to water meter customers on an average tariff charging 0.19p per litre.
Article:- Which? Consumer Magazine.
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