Darling, don’t leave the light on for me

Written by Rebecca O'Connor on 23rd February 2017

As if there isn’t enough to argue about, comparethemarket.com has found that among the washing up, binge drinking and whose turn it is to take the bin out, Brits also find time to argue about leaving the lights on and whether the heating should be on or off.

A third of all UK households – 33 per cent -have argued about the money they spend on energy bills, according to the research.

The poll of over 2,000 adults, found that leaving the lights and the heating on were the biggest sources of the spats – causing 72 per cent and 63 per cent of the arguments respectively.

In addition, over half of the quarrels were caused by turning the heating temperature up (54%), a third (33%) because of long showers or baths and a further 31% due to the over-use of electrical devices.

But these are all minor quibbles compared to the real issue, which is the overall cost of energy, and frustration about how to manage it within the household.

Energy prices are rising, because the cost of gas and electricity are rising. But British Gas’s profits are falling – thanks to increased competition from smaller suppliers – if you are still one of those people who can’t be bothered to switch from nPower, EDF, e.on, SSE, Scottish Power or British Gas, which by the way, are also all fossil fuel burners – you are simultaneously destroying the planet and your bank balance.

But where to switch to if all providers are doing the nasty on their customers? Well, not all of them are, as it happens. Some 100% renewable energy suppliers, such as Bulb Energy, have said they will not increase prices for the rest of winter (granted, that’s only a few weeks away). But they are also one of the cheapest tariffs around – even cheaper than many fossil fuel-based tariffs. AND you get the warm glow of saving the planet as well as saving yourself cash.

It’s always a good idea to compare energy prices using a comparison site – but it can be hard to compare the energy mix of providers as the comparison sites don’t clearly display this information.

comparethemarket.com has just launched an Unlimited 12M tariff from Green Star Energy – a new and exclusive offer allowing consumers to enjoy unlimited gas and electricity for one set monthly cost. The tariff is banded, with the amount consumers pay depending on their energy usage from the previous year. For lower consumption households, prices start at just £72 per month, with the heaviest usage properties being charged no more than £108. Green Star electricity is 100% renewably-sourced, according to its website, although it doesn’t commit to it always being so.

Peter Earl, Head of Energy at comparethemarket.com, said: “We all dread bills, however the recent energy price hikes have led to greater money uncertainty amongst households. Not only is this leading to renewed concern around the amount they will need to pay, but it has also led to growing worries surrounding the impact that this is likely to have on finances. This situation is only worsened by the fact that customers never truly know what they will end up paying for their energy, month by month, with estimated bills often not reflecting the final costs.”