Just call me Carol Vorderman! I’m going to have to get my maths head on today and work out how much energy I can afford!
Everyone has already had energy price rises. In November 2010, just before the worst winter in my lifetime, we had on average 10% increase in energy prices. We had no choice but to pay it. Everyone is now getting notifications, either by email or in letters of this year’s energy price hikes. British Gas have announced price rises of 18% for gas and 16% for electricity. Most energy companies have comparable price rises. I am on the cheapest tarrif I can find – NPower sign online 23 and I will face price rises of 15.7% for gas and 7.2% for electricity.
We all know about the difficulties people with ‘fixed’ incomes have with price increases. Up and down the country, as usual, old people will end up in hospital or dead as they won’t be able to heat more than one room, if they are lucky, and many won’t even be able to afford that. Here in the countryside, many people rely on propane bottles which are twice the price of mains gas and they will now be priced out of heating at all. It also doesn’t surprise me that all the blood suckers come out of their dark holes and join in. If you use wood to heat your house, get it now!!!! It is going up and up in price.
Then, as well as fixed income folk having struggles, there are all the people who now have: no overtime, reduced working hours, reduced salaries, more pension contributions to pay. You all, like me have to get your calculators out today and work out what you can afford.
Here are the reductions I am going to have to make. In the winter, my heating is on from 5pm until 9pm on a weekday and from about 12 noon until 8 pm on a weekend. Thirty one hours in total. I am going to have to cut that by 20% to be able to afford the £69 a month I now have to pay for gas. I will have to cut my usage down to 24 hours a week. There are 168 hours a week and I will have to have the heating on from 6pm until 9pm and at the weekends from 2pm until 8pm at the weekends.
I have electric ovens (mini and main), an electric kettle, electric shower and minor items such as the computer etc. I will have to reduce what I use by 10%. In case you’re wondering, here’s a recap of what I already do to save energy.
Heating is set to 17 degrees. I got rid of the tumble drier years ago. We shower and don’t have baths. We ‘let it mellow’. We use the mini oven instead of the main oven. We fill a flask from the kettle and use that to save reboiling. We batch cook when the oven is on. We keep the freezer full. We cook in a triple steamer to save gas. We only wash our clothes when they are dirty. We use the dishwasher every other day. We wear clothes to bed. We go to bed early and turn the lights off. Nothing is on stand by.
I have even investigated price fix tarrif for the next three years and those are already 11% higher than average bills. I have looked, investigated and costed. The only way to afford energy is to use less. Brace yourselves my lovelies, get down the charity shops and stock up on curtains to ‘double hang’, buy lots of wooly jumpers and cardigans, get quilting and layer your beds, stock up on coal and logs as I have a feeling, it’s going to be an expensive winter.
On that cheerful note, I will see you tomorrow,
Love Froogs xxxx