With Ofgem announcing further reductions to the energy price cap, it’s concerning to find that almost four in ten families with children at home are still struggling with high energy bills. Recent research from Compare the Market has uncovered the financial challenges faced by families, particularly those with children at home.
- 39% of families with children at home are worried about affording energy bills over the next six months, despite price reductions.
- One third of these families are considering fixed energy tariffs over the default standard variable tariff (SVT).
- Families with children need an extra £391 on average each month for energy bills.
- 41% of such families are likely to incur additional debt to pay for everyday bills.
- Falling prices and price cap changes are leading to more fixed-rate deals.
The study by Compare the Market found that nearly four in ten households with children are unconfident about managing energy bills in the next six months. For those without children, the percentage drops to just below one fifth (18%).
The majority of customers have seen a reduction in energy bills since the price cap fell to £2,074 on 1st July. However, families with children stated that they would need an additional £391 on average each month. To meet these high energy bills, some families are willing to increase their debts, the study found.
The Availability of Fixed Rate Deals
Despite the relief from the fall in the price cap, one third of households with children would consider fixing their energy tariff, rather than staying on the default SVT.
Luckily, some energy providers are now offering fixed rate deals again, having withdrawn these at the start of the recent energy crisis.
|Energy Supplier||Fixed Term||Notes|
|Ovo Energy||One Year||Existing Customers Only|
|Octopus Energy||One Year||Existing Customers Only|
|e-on Next||One Year|
The major energy companies are also offering fixed rate tariffs, so it makes sense to shop around for the best energy deals, however be aware that some may charge exit fees. British Gas, for example, charges an exit fee of £100.
Commenting on the availability of fixed price deals, Ursula Gibbs, director at Compare the Market, said “The fact that so many households are unsure if they will be able to afford their energy bills, despite changes to the energy price cap, speaks to the significant challenges facing families due to the cost-of-living crisis. While it’s good to see competition is starting to return to the fixed tariff energy market, the current market environment remains challenging, and we can’t predict the direction of future prices.
For households who can afford it and want the security of knowing exactly how much they will pay for energy each month, the current fixed tariffs available could be a useful and cost-effective option. However, if prices fall further, you could end up paying more than if you had stayed on a standard variable rate.”
Tips to Reduce Energy Bills
Reducing your energy bills doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By implementing these simple and effective strategies, you can significantly cut your energy costs and contribute to a more sustainable future.
Switch to a Cheaper Energy Supplier
- Compare energy prices online regularly.
- Consider switching to a cheaper supplier if possible.
Switching to a cheaper energy supplier could save you hundreds of pounds each year. Regularly compare energy prices online to find the most cost-effective deal for your home.
Invest in Energy-Efficient Appliances
- Opt for energy-efficient appliances over less efficient ones.
- Look for Energy Star labels when buying new appliances.
Energy-efficient appliances can reduce the amount of energy you use and help you save on your energy bills. Always look for appliances with the Energy Star label – they meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the EU.
Insulate Your Home
- Improve your home’s insulation.
- Consider investing in double-glazing windows.
A well-insulated home keeps warmth in during winter and out during summer, reducing the need for heating and cooling. Consider investing in double-glazing windows and insulating your loft, walls, and floors.
Smart Heating Controls
- Install smart thermostats to control your heating more effectively.
- Use timers on your central heating system.
With smart heating controls, you can ensure you’re only heating your home when necessary. A smart thermostat lets you control your heating remotely from your smartphone, so you can adjust the temperature when you’re out of the house.
- Replace old light bulbs with energy-saving LED bulbs.
- Consider installing motion sensor lights.
Switching to energy-efficient light bulbs can make a big difference to your energy bills. LED bulbs use up to 90% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs.
Monitor Your Energy Usage
- Regularly check your energy smart meter.
- Use an energy monitor to understand how much energy you’re using.
Understanding your energy usage can help you identify ways to save energy. Regularly check your energy meter and consider using an energy monitor to better understand your consumption patterns.