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Households urged to insulate and beat energy price rises

17th August 2011

As NPower becomes the fifth major energy supplier to announce a price hike this year, leading industry body EnergyLink has called on British households to insulate and minimise the impact of soaring energy costs.

NPower yesterday became the latest UK energy supplier to announce plans to increase prices in 2011, by 15.7% for gas and 7.2% for electricity.

The move will see the average dual fuel bill for NPower customers climb by around £133 to £1,282 and means that five out of Britain’s “big six” providers have now announced price rises this year.

With E.ON, British Gas, Scottish and Southern Energy and Scottish Power also enforcing tariff changes on their customers, only a small minority of British households have escaped a rise in their energy costs this year.

Loft and cavity wall Insulation grants are available from several organisations, including British Gas. Free Insulation is available to help those who are more likely to be in fuel poverty. Anyone receiving certain benefits or aged 70 and above could be entitled to free cavity wall and loft insulation.

All other private households can also apply for loft insulation and cavity wall insulation grants covering up to 70% of the cost of insulating their home.

Homeowners and private tenants can apply for insulation grants that could result in a significant reduction in their energy usage, as part of the Government’s drive to meet its Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT).

Any costs towards the initial installation are far outweighed by the resultant energy bill savings and – as well as keeping homes warm in the winter – insulation also has a cooling effect in the summer.

It is estimated that around 60% of the heat generated in a poorly insulated home escapes through the loft and cavity walls. Homes that have had insulation fitted by an approved installer will not only save an average of 1.4 tonnes in carbon output, they will also cut their energy bills by up to £265 per year.

Over the longer term these monetary savings look likely to increase, with utility companies expected to continue to raise their energy prices over the coming months and years.

With analysts predicting a surge in applications for insulation grants this Winter, households are advised to apply now to receive the benefits of insulation ahead of the worst of the bad weather.

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