Like lots of you I saw the announcement on Friday 6th August 2021 about Ofgem relaxing the regulations on the price cap on domestic fuel. This may cause you some distress.
In their defence the energy companies have had no choice but to do this because the wholesale price of gas and electricity have risen and it was inevitable. If they don’t put the prices up then they can’t buy it in. However, I am going to show you 15 or so ways to reduce your use of fuel. Now this document was produced in rush so there will be grammatical and spelling mistakes.
Above you can see proof how I reduced my monthly direct debit from £162 per month to £124 per month in April 2021 down to £101 per month in July 2021. I have not changed supplier nor tariff. However, I am a part time energy broker and I know lots of methods to cut your energy use.
Who am I?
My name is Bond, James Bond, I am a health and fitness expert. I work with people who want to improve their quality of life, particularly those who want to lose weight. What makes my service different is that I am one of very few doctor qualified personal trainers and therefore I can take on cases that other fitness trainers cannot or will not dare- such as the case of Deborah Fox — try not to cry when you see that story.
I do energy tendering part time.
I saved them a lot of money.
Why are you not practising as a doctor?
I can hear you asking that question. It’s because I was framed for something I did not do. The powers that be have admitted to withholding information of what they accused me of and one of the prime witnesses — the medical director who ended my career- has been found guilty of perjury in a case that directly impacts on mine. I was accused of saying this guy lied on oath at a coroner’s inquest.
Three months after I lost my license to practice medicine, they admitted in writing to withholding a document that cleared me of the offence that the whole case revolved around.
5 years later that medical director was found guilty of instructing his lawyers to give false information to that inquest. I have to raise a huge sum of money to bring these people to trial.
If you see True Lies from Undercovermedicine and How they lied on oath against me on http://www.jamesbondhealthandfitness.co.uk/howtheyliedonoathagainstme you’ll see what I mean.
His Honour Lord Justice Peter Clark QC at the Employment Appeals Tribunal and His Honour Lord Justice Kay QC at the Court of Appeal both said they found True Lies very disturbing.
Why is a fitness trainer talking of this?
There are two reasons.
Well, the 2nd commonest reason for people not to hire me is because they can’t afford me. So, I help them save sufficient money so they can afford me.
However, if you look at one of my blogs below, you’ll see that the number one cause of obesity is poverty. I wrote a blog about this in 2008 and I was pasted. However, in 2015 the Fabian Society released their report called Hungry for Change and everything on my blog was confirmed. I love saying “I told you so!”
Why the energy companies will thank me for this
I can hear you now asking me aren’t I harming the energy companies? No- they will thank me for this. In the USA energy companies are doing energy surveys, giving out such advice and giving people interest free loans to get energy efficient equipment for two reasons.
Firstly, it saves them from having to build more power stations — which is more expensive than you can imagine.
Secondly if they put you on a yearly budget plan and you use less than what you’ve paid, they get interest on the difference.
Now let’s save you some money.
If you are on a pre-payment meter then chances are you could be paying over the odds for your energy. Lots of landlords put their tenants on pre-payment meters so that when the tenant leaves, they are not lumbered with huge bills. The way around this is for the tenant to get the energy in their own name and on the day of moving out a meter reading is submitted and the tenant gives the energy company a forwarding address.
Pre-payment meters are bad for two reasons.
Firstly, you may be paying more for your energy.
Secondly, they put you at higher risk of high winter bills.
If you are on a pre-payment meter then give your energy supplier a call and ask to go on a standard meter (not a smart meter.) They should not charge you and you may have to pay a deposit to protect them against you defaulting on payment of bills. However, that deposit is nothing compared to savings of time and bills that you’ll make.
Irrespective of your energy supplier make sure you go on a budget plan. Under a budget plan they estimate how much energy you’ll use over 12 months and split it among 12 equal monthly payments. This protects you against high winter bills. So, in summer you’ll pay a bit more but in winter you’ll be protected against the high heating bills. This goes a long way to avoid The Christmas debt trap.
Let’s assume you don’t have a smart meter.
Unless your settings ensure that a bill is generated every time you submit a reading then please manually submit a meter reading every week. That way you can keep an eye on things and the energy companies know you are on top of it. It means you can be billed appropriately.
Let me give you an example. My family never submitted a meter reading between 2013–2016. After a dear relative passed away, I was given access to all the online accounts and I started submitting meter readings. It turned out the energy company had been grossly undercharging and my family was some £3000 in arrears. Had I not been an energy broker they would have sent a bill in for £3000. I got them to set up a budget repayment plan.
A regular meter reading ensures you are billed appropriately.
Do not leave your TV on standby overnight
I cannot understand why people do this.
It’s a huge waste of energy. If we all stopped doing this, they could literally shut down a few power stations. It’s a huge waste of energy. It uses just as much energy as leaving your TV on!
Satellite systems and the like
For the same reasons, unless you are recording something overnight, please turn them off.
PCs, printers and scanners
For the same reasons, unless you are recording something overnight, please turn them off or put them on sleep mode.
Mobile phone charging
Please don’t charge your mobile phones overnight. That wastes huge amount of energy. When you get in from work just charge it for an hour or so and then unplug it. You can waste some 6–8 hours of energy by leaving it plugged into the mains overnight.
Make sure that once a month you let your mobile phone battery drain down to near zero and then charge it. You’ll prolong the life of your battery if you do this.
A grade electrical or gas appliances
When buying an electrical or gas appliance check the energy rating. In the long run I promise you that it will cost you far less to get a “A” rated appliance.
In some parts of the USA if you trade in an inefficient freezer or similar appliance for their equivalent for an A grade appliance, they give you a rebate on your bills. It saves them money for reasons given above.
For obvious reasons with the exception of medical equipment or security lights or alarms try to turn off unnecessary electrical or gas appliances if you are not using them.
Washing machines, tumble driers and dishwashers
If you can, please ensure when you use them that you turn them on with a full load. It is far more economical.
Drying your clothes
The best way to dry your clothes- weather permitting- is to hang them to dry outside. You don’t need the sun; you just need wind. An ideal combination is a hot day with a bit of a breeze.
Now if you hang shirts or blouses out to dry, please put them on a hanger. It makes the ironing a lot easier.
Unless you have custom-made double-glazed windows and doors try to ensure all your windows, doors and letterboxes have draft excluder. It’s cheap and the best time to put them in is during the summer.
I am amazed that more people don’t do this.
Doors and windows that don’t close fully
If you have doors or windows that don’t close fully then get them repaired. You will not believe how much heat you can lose in winter because of this. It will cost you more in the long run.
Close the doors and windows!
It’s important to get sufficient fresh air into your property and its important to open the windows to avoid condensation. However, where possible please do keep the doors and windows shut to keep the heat in during winter and for security reasons. I can give you some horror stories of students not doing this.
Only put enough water for what you need. If you are only heating up water for one cup of tea then fill up to the minimum. There is no need to fill all the way to the top for just one cup of tea.
If you are simmering boiling water then once you have got the water boiling you need very little energy to keep it there. You can turn down the cooker considerably to keep it boiling.
On that front if you are using a gas cooker then make sure you only use sufficient flame to heat the bottom of the pan. If the flame goes round the sides, then you are literally throwing money away.
Do not do what lots of students do- turn down the heating and put the oven on to heat the house. It wastes more money in the long run.
A really good way to clean the grill or oven pan is to leave a load of coca cola in overnight to soak. You will not believe how much cleaner they become.
One way to really cut down your fridge use of electricity is to get a freezer cooling element. Put it in your freezer and once frozen keep it in the fridge. I have four shelves on my fridge and so I have 8 cooling elements. I put 4 in my freezer and 4 in my fridge. I let 4 in my fridge defrost whilst the other 4 freeze. This cools down the temperature in your fridge and saves you a lot of money.
If you are defrosting vegetables, defrost them in your fridge however do not do this for meat and never ever forget that in your fridge fruit and vegetables go on the top shelf, meat goes at the bottom.
Defrost your freezer
Once every 3–4 months defrost your freezer.
In the long run this keeps your freezer working better.
Keep the back of your fridge and freezer clean
If you have a lot of dust of the back of your fridge or freezer they won’t be anywhere as efficient at dissipating heat. So, keep them clean.
Follow the advice of Edwina Currie
In the 1980s government minister Edwina Currie caused uproar when she told the elderly to cut their fuel bills by putting on more layers. I can’t see a problem with this. She was right.
I used to rent out my house to students and so often they’d complain how cold the house was in winter. I’d tell them. If you walk around the house in a bikini you are bound to feel cold!
Let us assume you have a room thermostat. If you haven’t got one then install one.
In summer set it at constant for 15 degrees.
In winter set it constantly for 20 degrees.
Watch your heating bills plummet.
What happens is that most people put on their gas heating to come on early morning for 2–3 hours. Then to go to work and they programme the gas to come on between 4pm and 10pm before they go to bed and the house cools down between 10pm and 6am.
During those off hours the water in the central heating cools down. Then you have to heat it up again.
Once you get it to the target temperature you don’t need a lot of energy to keep it there. In the long run it costs a hell of a lot less energy to keep your heating at a constant temperature.
Hot water tanks
For the same reasons keep the hot water at a constant temperature of 60 degrees if you have a hot water tank.
If you do have a hot water tank, make sure it’s lagged. What happens if you keep it at a constant temperature then it takes very little to keep it at a constant temperature. If you then have a shower or something then you only have to heat that volume of water you’ve used.
If you have a combi boiler then it’s important you keep the temperature at constant even if you have no tank.
If you have exposed pipes in the house, please ensure they are lagged to avoid heat loss.
When you change your lightbulbs change them to the new LED ones. Now remember one thing. In some parts of the world, you can be fined for throwing a lightbulb in your bin.
Somewhere in your local community there is an electrical shop. Take your old bulb in buy a replacement and let them dispose of it through their specialist bins. They get a new customer; you avoid the fine. Everybody wins!
In many cases it’s cheaper just to leave them on. From a security point of view please ensure you put dawn to dusk lights on outside your house especially around the back. The risk of being seen is a huge deterrent for a criminal.
The bathroom and kitchen
If possible, please get an extractor fan put in the bathroom and kitchen- the type that come on when someone turns on the light. It goes a long way to avoiding condensation.
Windows and doors
Try and get double glazed doors and windows. Not only are they a great burglar deterrent they are a great way to avoid needless heat loss.
Cavity wall insulation
If you have cavity walls, please do ensure you get them insulated you will not believe how much money you can save with this.
Do try not to block radiators- it means that the heat can’t travel. They should actually be called convectors because they heat rooms by convection not radiation! Do try and put aluminium foil behind them to reflect heat back into the room.
Unless you have a medical condition, which requires them then don’t use them. It’s like burning money!
Get your gas boiler serviced every year
Please ensure you get your gas boiler serviced every year, preferably between February and September. Gas engineers are much quieter in summer and if you get your gas central heating serviced in summer it is much less likely to break down in winter.
Please don’t be like my ex. She never got round to it. The boiler packed up. Since it hadn’t been serviced in the last 12 months it wasn’t covered by the insurance. She ended up in energy arrears and on a pre-payment meter because she used fan heaters to heat the house. Luckily because she was on tax credits and had an under 12-year-old kid she got a government grant for a new boiler.
She was not impressed when I showed that my boiler was serviced in March of that year.
Spare a thought for the self employed
If you are a business and you have a contract for your phone, mobile phone, broadband, gas or electricity then you could easily suffer the rollover trap.
Under the terms and conditions of such contracts you can only tell your supplier during a narrow window period that you want to cancel–at a time of their choosing, not yours. If you don’t, they can legally extend the contract as long for around 12 months or put you into default out of contract rates. It’s caused many businesses to fold. Like this article about the Fat Olive in Ormskirk.
Do not use price comparison websites
Don’t use price comparison websites. This is what happens commonly and either I or one of my colleagues end up picking up the pieces.
· The customer goes to such a site.
· The customer gets a price which is quoted as being considerably cheaper than what they are paying at present.
· Terms and conditions are accepted.
· The cooling off period passes.
· Then the historical use is attained from the National Grid and the monthly payment goes up. By this stage there is nothing you can do.
· The customer forgets and is rolled over into another contract.
The above will help you but if you are worried and want to change supplier please look at the resources.
I am the Chief Executive of the Full time Mother programme. I get the Mums (and Dads!) of the UK on multiple streams of income so to avoid financial difficulties. Don’t let the name put you off!
If you want me to help you cut your energy, use then please go to http://www.doyouwanttobeafulltimemother.com/cheaperbills
I can help with domestic bills, commercial bills and your petrol or diesel.
Obesity and poverty