With Work from Home and social distancing becoming the norm due to the Coronavirus crisis, people are spending all their time at home. This has brought with itself another worry- that of rising utility bills over the coming months. Energy prices are not consistent across the UK, and consumers at some places may be paying considerably more than those in other areas.
SaveonEnergy.com, an energy cost analysis website, analyzed over 18,000,000 EPC certificates available on OpenDataCommunities. The data from there was used to map the most expensive and affordable areas to live in as far as energy expenses go. The developers from SaveOnEnergy.com applied an API for querying the entire database of 18,000,000 EPC certificates based on their pin codes.
After the data extraction, the information was restructured based on region and area as per the postcodes in the database. This helped them to summarize areas where households were paying the most and the least for their energy bills.
Londoners may be surprised to learn that they are paying the least amount for their utility bills as compared to the rest of the country. London is the cheapest place in the UK as far as utility bills go. The average bill for a household in London is estimated to be £775 per annum. 2nd in the list with affordable energy bills is Dartford, with the average annual energy bill being a close £782. The third is Milton Keynes with an annual household bill of £784
The most expensive area in the UK is Dumfries and Galloway. The annual household bill for the area averages to £2,416. This figure is over 3 times more than what residents in London, Manchester, Dartford and Milton Keynes Pay. The 2nd most expensive place in the UK is Llandrindod. The average annual energy expenses for a household stand at £1,311. This is followed by Galashiels, where households annually spend £1181 on an average.
A breakup of the energy expenses was also shared. The bulk of energy bills in all areas was comprised of energy used for heating, followed by hot water and lights. Residents of Southampton, whose energy bills averaged at £812, were spending the highest for hot water, paying £142 each year. Bristol residents were utilizing the maximum for heating, paying an average of £626.57 every year for just that.
It is time that UK households took more steps toward becoming energy efficient. This would help them save more on their utility bills. Residents of Dumfries and Galloway can save around £1,296 on their annual energy bills. This is £1,108 more than what Milton Keynes can save- showing the large difference between energy efficiency levels of both the places. Homes in Llandrindod Wells can save £43 and those in Galashiels can save £369 annually or around £1 each day.
SaveOnEnergy talked to 2,197 UK homes in the survey to learn about their energy bill anxieties. 81% of households are worried about the increasing cost of their utility bills while 33% are already finding it tough to pay their bills in time. Further, 67% of people believe that their energy company must pay for utilities while in the lockdown and 48% are trying to find ways to bring down their bills.
Linda Dodge, who is an energy expert with SaveOnEnergy, has shared a few tips to help residents cut down their electricity costs in the next few months. She suggests switching over to LED bulbs from regular lightbulbs. LED Bulbs consume 20-80% less energy. She also recommends using an airer instead of a tumble dryer. Air drying would lead to 50% less energy usage as compared to tumble dryers. Households can also get a 24-hour plug timer. This timer sets time limits on essential items like TVs and lamps, helping to bring down electricity bills.
With the coronavirus crisis far from over, residents must use ways like these to lower their utility bills and make their homes more energy-efficient.