Ovo Energy announced that it will be upping its gas prices for the second time this year, and getting rid of an online discount that has saved online customers more than £135 a year. Ovo Energy isn’t alone in hiking consumer’s gas rates. The most recent Ovo hike will add more than 12% to customer’s bills who were receiving the online discount, and around 6.5% for customers whose bills weren’t discounted.
According to Ovo’s website:
“Wholesale energy costs have risen by over 15% since June, as a result we’re increasing our variable plan rates and removing the online discount from our variable plan. We review our prices every week to ensure we’re giving our customers a fair deal that reflects the real cost of energy and continue to make all our decisions as if our ‘customer is in the room’ with us.”
While wholesale energy prices have been on the rise, the unrelenting rate hikes from major energy providers do little to shore up confidence as the UK heads towards winter. Ovo customers that are on the standard variable tariff are able to leave without penalty. With all the other rate hikes that have happened over the last few months, shopping around for a fixed tariff could be a wise move.
Save on Your Gas Bill
Consumers may be able to shave a little off their gas bill by locking in prices for a year or two, but there are some other simple things anyone can do to cut monthly home costs. Using energy efficiently can help save money, and it also helps the UK to cut overall energy usage as well!
If you are the one who does the cooking at home, it is time to make sure that you know how to use lids. It seems like a silly thing to think about, but when a pot is used without a lid nearly half the heat escapes from the pot. That steaming pot in your kitchen is money wasted, so make sure that you use tight-fitting pot lids whenever you are able.
Take a Good Look at Your Home
You still have a few months before the cold winter weather falls over the UK. If your loft isn’t fully insulated, now could be a good time to invest in some modern insulation. We all know that hot air rises, so if your loft’s insulation isn’t up to date, you could be losing a king’s ransom during the colder months.
Unless your home or flat was built in the last few years, you are probably losing money from cold Draughts. There are numerous ways to make sure that doors and windows aren’t costing you money. If you own your home, and plan to be there for a while, investing in double-glazed windows is a smart move that will pay you back for decades.
The Outlook for Energy in the UK
The UK is importing more heating gas all the time. The North Sea gas fields appear to be in a long-term structural decline. The UK has imported more then 60% of its gas requirements so far this year. Rising gas prices could be here to stay. The UK can no longer rely on domestic production, and has to compete with other European nations for our supply of fuel.
At the moment it appears that the EU and Russia are willing to work together on energy issues. In the future this may or may not be the case. In a situation where Russia cuts EU gas supplies, the UK could face a massive spike in gas prices.
While never welcome, the recent string in heating gas prices could help consumers prepare for a more uncertain energy marketplace. Taking steps today to ensure that your home is as energy efficient as possible makes good sense. Not only will you save money during the cold winter months, you will be helping the UK to reduce its dependence on foreign sources of energy.