Our energy woes and £150 worth of giveaway


About a month ago I was talking to a friend of mine who I suspect is wasting a sizeable chunk of her pay.

Here in the UK we don’t talk about money even with close friends. However, given that this is money my friend could be putting into investments to do her well in her retirement I used my position as a ‘foreigner’ – I still think people don’t expect me to know how to behave so I can do what I want.

In my experience, people waste money on three main items: food, insurance and household bills/energy.

After some probing, it turned out that my friend does buy the occasional ready meal; they buy clothes too often (she does have two teens and they are growing fast). These are not the main over-spending points.

Their main over-spending point, I thought, was energy. For a house that is considerably smaller than ours my friend’s family were paying more for electricity and gas than us.

For that matter, so do our sons and their house can fit in ours three times. Our sons rent and they suffer from ‘the curse of the prepayment meter’.

I felt helpful and, let’s face it, a little bit smug about it: we were on a wonderful rate that John found through a group action on 38 Degrees couple of years back.

Well, it was a bit misplaced for me to fee smug. Last week we got a letter from Cooperative Energy – our provider – saying that they will more than double our energy payment because we’ve been under-paying for some time.

John did manage to negotiate the monthly payment down from what Cooperative Energy suggested but we still owe them £1,400. And we have solar panels on the roof that are generating quite a bit of electricity at the moment (we’ll publish how we are doing on this one separately).

Now we are looking to change our provider; again. Naturally, the place to call is Compare the Market (doesn’t matter what I think about Meerkats with Russian accents) which tells us that it is still possible to save a bit on energy by getting it cheaper.

You may be right thinking that it is better to save on using energy rather than paying less for the energy we use. At the same time, our house is properly insulated, we have double glazing and solar panels. What else could we do?

This leads me to the really exciting part of this post.

The Money Principle is hosting a competition for £150 worth of Amazon vouchers.

Yes, you read this right:

One lucky reader is going to win £150 to spend on whatever they want Amazon!

To enter the competition you’d need to do four things:

  1. Share in a comment your personal energy saving tips;
  2. Make sure you don’t miss something important and fun on The Money Principle by subscribing to receive e-mail notifications;
  3. Like The Money Principle Facebook page; and
  4. Like Compare The Market Facebook page.

This is all!

You can enter using the Rafflecopter below. This giveaway will end on June 13, 2014; the winner will be selected by a ‘random winner generator’ and informed within five working days of the close of the competition. Please check the terms and conditions of the giveaway below (two of these are that you should be an UK citizen and over 18 years old).

What are you waiting for? Enter the competition: it is £150 for two minutes work.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

photo credit: SkipSteuart via photopin cc

27 thoughts on “Our energy woes and £150 worth of giveaway”

  1. Unplug things when you’re not using them, not only does this save money but it can prevent causing a fire.

  2. Get the kids to turn everything off at the plug – its amazing how much you can save by not leaving things on standby.

  3. To save energy, the effective way is definitely to turn off everything at the plug. Teach the children about it and before going outside you must check all the plugs for your house’s safety.

  4. I have heard that turning down the central heating room thermostat by 1 degree could save £75.00 p/a and fitting a hot water tank insulation jacket could save up to £30.00 p/a

  5. As a student saving money is important to me and one of the simplest ways to save energy/money is by making sure that you turn everything off at the wall.

  6. just simple things like putting only enough water you need to boil in the kettle and switching off recharging plugs at the wall can make a big difference!

  7. Im on a prepayment meter for my Electric. I know they get a hard time but i would recommend switching to one. It really does make you turn things off, put on an extra layer in stead of heating and i think it saves me loads

  8. Use a hot water bottle to keep yourself warm in bed and allow you to turn the heating off. A hot water bottle can also be used in the day too ! Tuck it under your jumper or cuddle it and wallah , instant heat that lasts ages all for the small cost and energy of boiling a kettle once.

  9. I refuse to put the heating on till November, we can often be found with our dressing gowns on over our clothes

  10. Turn off all stand by lights, reduce your washing cycle, use energy saving light bulbs at a lower wattage

  11. Turning off lights and plugs that aren’t in use.
    Boiling what water you want for tea or coffee instead of whole kettle.

  12. energy efficient lightbulbs .. make sure your roof is insulated all heat is lost through there

  13. Use draught excluders on your doors, the ones that look like a long sausage 😉 Since using these on our outer doors we have noticed a real difference in temperatures over the winter.
    They seem to be a bit easier to buy now, but as they are a simple shape could be made easily & save a bit more money too

  14. Not having a television saves energy. A laptop uses a lot less, and you can watch most things on it.

  15. When shopping for appliances or TVs check the energy rating! Also turn all lights off if you are not in the room and make sure plugs are off.

  16. Use an extra jumper round the house and an extra blanket on the bed and leave the heating turned low.

  17. I make sure I turn off appliances rather than leaving them on standby.
    Putting a sheet of tin foil behind the radiators in the winter stops alot of heat escaping, and saves energy.

  18. make sure we switch of appliances and lights when not in use and dry clothes outside whenever possible rather than using a dryer

  19. To save energy I wear lots of layers so i dont have to turn the heating on and I make sure when im not using appliances they are unplugged!

  20. – use pressure cooker
    – turn off the oven a few minutes before the meal is ready – it will be still hot enough

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