Saving energy is the only solution to faster rising bills after a report published today shows that these are likely to increase twice as fast as the Government has projected.
The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) made an analysis of the official data for campaign group Global Action Plan and found that bills are likely to increase by a further £63 over government estimates because consumers will buy fewer energy and water efficient products than forecast.
The Coalition figures suggest that over the next six years, utility bills would rise on average by £64, from £1,267 in 2013 to £1,331 in 2020.
But the IPPR research suggests that snail’s pace in regulatory changes together with often bewildering product energy efficiency labelling is discouraging people from taking steps to replace old, inefficient appliances with energy saving models.
Another important factor is that consumers are still bruised from the long years of economic slump and are understandably minded to keep their cash on a short leash. Taken together, these pressures will mean that, in all probability, people will actually make energy savings of around 40 per cent less than envisaged.
The Government’s figures assume that rising costs of energy production, including green energy subsidies, would be offset partially by consumers swapping out old ‘white goods’ such as fridges, TVs and washing machines for more energy efficient models.
But the Global Action Plan report advises that under-performance of products policy means that domestic energy bills could much higher in 2020 than the current Department of Energy and Climate Changes (DECC) forecast and says that there is a “policy black hole” on the issue.
According to official estimates, replacing household appliances like washing machines and televisions could take £158 off the average bill, while new boilers could on average save £81 in energy costs.
DECC projects that people should to be able to make energy savings of £25 a year from more efficient TVs and set-top boxes, £25 through more efficient consumer electronics and around £20 through more efficient lighting.
That last figure is a surprise. Our real-world data shows that the savings made by replacing energy-guzzling lighting with super efficient LEDs should help hard-pressed households, businesses and organisations save much more every year.
That is backed up by information from Lux magazine that shows how a typical home can cut their electricity bills by around £260 a year with LED lighting. The energy saving details are in our Guide to LED lighting in the Learn&Save section on SaveMoneyCutCarbon.com.
Our How to work out LED light savings guide has also good examples of by how much lighting bills can be reduced. The simple fact is that LED lighting can reduce electricity consumption by as much as 90 per cent and the purchase cost repaid with interest very quickly.
Other commentators have also criticised Government thinking because consumers would have to spend hundreds of pounds on new ‘white goods’ appliances to achieve the savings being forecast.
Trewin Restorick, chief executive of Global Action Plan, told the Telegraph: “Consumers are hit twice when faced with rising energy bills. They’re paying for unnecessary electricity usage due to energy-inefficient appliances, and then forking out for ever-increasing subsidies to produce energy that is not actually needed in the first place. We need to boost the uptake of energy efficient appliances in the UK. Financial incentives that directly benefit customers’ pockets are key.”
This financial appeal meshes with SaveMoneyCutCarbon’s long-term campaign for much more direct, active and simple support to help people invest in energy saving products. In our experience, the only way for consumers, businesses and organisations to take control of ever-rising energy bills is to cut consumption in clever ways like LED lighting.
And by controlling the amount of water they use, people can make another big, sustainable dent in their utility bills. It really is simple to reduce water consumption – and the heating needed – by installing eco showers, eco taps and tap aerators.
Our top tips on How to Save Water is a good place to start but our expert team is on hand to answer your questions – call us on 0845 123 5464.