ad // The cost of living crisis has hit most households within the UK. Almost everyone has seen their bills skyrocket and many are finding themselves in desperate situations to ensure their home is warm and they have enough money for food, energy and water.
First and foremost, this rise in cost is obviously disgusting, as life in the UK is seemingly getting more and more difficult as the years go by.
Nobody deserves to suffer this much and struggle to maintain those basic human necessities, like hot water and a warm home.
But the fact is, this is where we are and we have to learn to live and adapt. Luckily, there are plenty of things we can do to lower our bills and improve the cost of living situation in our own homes.
But sadly, when people are struggling so much – or even just point blank refusing to pay – they may be resorting to energy theft.
What is energy theft?
If you’ve never heard of energy theft, then it’s definitely something you should read up on and educate yourself on. Energy theft has risen over the last 6 months, with around 1,000 people reporting energy theft every month.
There has also been a 400% increase in people tampering with their energy supply since 2017.
The rise of energy theft within the last year doesn’t surprise me. Nor should it surprise you. With so many people struggling with the cost of living, some will try anything to lower their bills.
There are many dangers of energy theft, including gas theft, which includes shocks and burns, electric fires, gas leaks and more.
The cost of living crisis is a real problem, with so many people seriously struggling every single day. But energy theft isn’t the way to solve the issue, as you could be causing danger for yourself and those around you. Including loved ones in your home.
The campaign from Stay Energy Safe aims to educate people about energy theft and is an anonymous reporting service, that keeps people and communities safe from the disastrous effects of energy crime.
Energy theft can be difficult to spot but you can look out for the following signs:
- Damaged meter casing
- Extra wires around the meter
- Melted or scorched meter casing
- Electricity working with no credit
- Meter dials or digits not moving
- Burning smell near the meter
With 50% of our population not aware of what energy theft is, it’s no surprise that the rates are so high for it. But if you do suspect anything, you can report it anonymously.
Now let’s look at some super easy things you can do and implement in your own home that can help you lower your bills and improve the cost of living situation in your life.
9 ways to lower your bills and improve the cost of living:
Switch appliances off at the socket
This could save you yup to £70 a year. All appliances, including microwaves, kettles, TV’s game consoles and more all draw power, even if they’re not in use. By turning off the switch or unplugging them completely, this can save you a considerable amount!
Wash clothes less often and at a lower temperature
You might want to consider cutting down the amount of washing that you do to once or twice a week (depending on the size of the household) and also lowering the temperature to 30 degrees for every wash.
Try and avoid using a tumble dryer
Tumble dryers are so convenient but they use up so much energy. If you own a tumble dryer, try and only use it for when you really need it. Otherwise, buy a clothes horse and air dry clothes.
Switch to energy saving lightbulbs
This could save you around £55 a year by switching to LED bulbs, which are much more efficient and also last longer. They’re also better for the environment.
Turn the tap off when brushing your teeth
A super easy tip that everyone can do and that’s turning off the tap when you’re brushing your teeth. I never used to do this but I do it every time I brush my teeth now. When you’re using a best Sonicare toothbrush, you don’t need to keep the tap running!
Have shorter showers
We all love long showers but perhaps try and cut down the longer showers to one or two a week and keep your daily shower quick and efficient, using less water and power.
Fix the draughts in your home
You might need to do a bit of maintenance work in order to fix some draughts but others could easily be fixed by buying some draught excluders to place in front of your doors.
Turn radiators off in the rooms you’re not using
There’s no point keeping radiators on in every single room of the house when you’re not going to be using all of them, so consider turning some of them off.
Download an energy usage app
If you have a smart metre, there are free apps you can download which allow you to monitor your usage, which can be really helpful to see where you can save even further.
I hope this post has opened your eyes to energy theft, what it is and how you might be able to spot the signs that someone is committing it.
As well as some small ways you can help lower your bills and improve your cost of living. You can also incorporate some more lifestyle based ways to save money overall too.
Don’t forget, there are also many different ways you can make some extra money, which can help go towards your bills at the end of the month.
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Great tips and thank you for sharing this great knowledge with everyone else. It’s vital we educate people during this current crisis and make the best of things.
I had absolutely no idea energy theft was a thing! We’ve been lucky not to have been hit by energy prices rising yet but I dread to think what we’ll have to start paying when we move. Thank your for these tips, they’re going to be really useful! x
Em / http://www.earthlyem.co.uk
Neither did I before I researched for this post! Mad what people will do to save some money when they’re desperate. It’s sad – but so dangerous.
I’m someone who always turns the tap off when I’m brushing my teeth, I never see why people leave it on in the first place! I have honestly never heard of energy theft until I read this post x
Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk
You’re a good egg! I dunno, I just never thought about turning it off until recently when I was like erm, why am I keeping it on for no reason? Haha
I have never heard of energy theft before this post. But after reading I’m aware that during our student days, my household was definitly guilty. I’ll not say how we did it, but just know we did because we were all struggling. Now, I can’t imagine how students are manaing to cope. It breaks my heart and makes me so damn anxious when I read about the cost of living. I just hope (but I know it’s lost hope) that something gives soon.
I had a conversation with someone yesterday talking about how there is no cost of living crisis, there is only the rich getting richer and punishing the poor in the process. That hit hard.
God yeah that’s a good perspective and definitely an accurate one. It’s such an awful situation for so many people – it breaks my heart too, to think how much some people are struggling.
Enjoyed this, some good points made here and I’m deffo downloading the app, which I never even knew existed!
Hope it helps!
It’s worrying that people try energy theft when it could be so dangerous and get themselves in trouble with it too.
I know, some people are just so desperate that they’re willing to try anything sadly.
Great post! I like to think this Winter I’ve been frugal and diligent- especially about turning off radiators or lights that aren’t being used. However, there’s some really good tips in here that I didn’t consider. Thank you for sharing 🙂
I’m sure you have been! All those little things help 🙂
I have some multiple lights that I am replacing tomorrow with single energy efficient lights. I hate the idea of energy theft as the bills are already enormous. Mine was £335 for March although I have no gas supply.
Blimey. Yes, people who resort to energy theft are making things worse for everyone else, sadly.
Great tips, the saving lightbulbs helped us a lot when we switched to it.
Really easy way to save.
I have seen energy theft on tv police programmes or can’t pay take it away. It is so dangerous, I would be too scared to mess around with live wires and things. I like the suggestions you mentioned, small tasks that will make a big difference. We turned down our boiler by 1-2 degrees and it saved so much money already. Thank you for sharing.
Lauren – bournemouthgirl
Ah right! It’s too risky, if one little thing goes wrong then is could be SO dangerous not only for the person doing it but the whole household and even neighbours!
Wow, I didn’t know much about energy theft. Thank you for breaking that down. I enjoyed your tips for lowering your bills. These small changes make a big difference!
Thank you, glad you could learn something new from this!
This is a great post for home owners. Very important information to keep in mind. Thank you for sharing.
I really needed this info. I’ve not long moved into my first flat. Living alone, especially right now, is a little difficult but I’m learning as I go. It’s made me more inclined to push side projects for extra cash.
Congratulations on your first flat! I bet it’s super difficult living alone and having to manage all of this by yourself but it’s amazing that you are!
There is an energy crisis here in America too, but it’s not being addressed. I didn’t know that there were apps for this kind of thing. I’m definitely going to look into them!
Wow I didn’t know that to be honest with you.