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Ofgem chief warns energy bills set to soar
10:00am Thursday 28th February 2013 in Lifestyle
Stourbridge energy adviser Colin Priest has supported an Ofgem warning this week that householders will have to find revolutionary ways to save energy as utility bills are set to soar because of green targets.
The chief executive of the energy regulator, Alistair Buchanan, said that next month about 10 per cent of the UK’s total energy generation capacity would be lost as coal and oil-fired power plants are to be shut down under a European environment directive and more could follow later this year.
Mr Buchanan, who is stepping down from his post with Ofgem in June, said within three years the UK’s spare cushion of power generation would fall from below 14 per cent to less than five per cent.
He said the Government was banking on low-carbon energy from nuclear power and wind farms and by building dozens of new gas plants. But he said these moves would not be enough alone to stop the possibility of 1970s blackouts and would leave Britain reliant on expensive imported gas.
“The big unknown is over the demand side,” he continued. “Can the Government get a revolution going on consumer habits to force through energy efficiency?”
A Department of Energy and Climate Change spokesman said: “The reforms we are introducing to the electricity market are aimed at plugging this gap in order to keep the lights on, guard against blackouts and ensure there is sufficient supply when margins get right.”
An average dual fuel bill is now more than £1,300 a year, an increase of more than 160 per cent in nine years.
Colin Priest, who lives in Quarry Bank and works for Noreus Ltd, agreed with Mr Buchanan, but said there were steps householders could take now to make their homes more efficient and to cut their bills.
He said firstly residents needed a thermal imaging camera which reveals air leaks and moisture in cavity wall insulation, water problems in flat roofs, defects in pipes or under-floor heating systems and inefficient seals around door and windows.
Colin is so confident with the new technology that he is offering home owners a free thermal imaging survey to help reduce their energy bills. Easy and inexpensive ways to cut energy bills are closing curtains in the evening, filling a kettle with only the water needed, switching off lights when leaving a room, using draught excluders and turning down the central heating system by a degree or two.
More expensive ways, which would leave to bigger savings, are: Insulating a roof and the walls with the environmentally-friendly Icynene Insulation System, which would save up to £600 a year.
Investing in solar panels, cutting on average £237 a year in energy bills plus receiving Government money for generating electricity for the National Grid.
Buying a thermodynamic panel system which will give hot water for only around £1 a week and central heating for about £5 a week.
For more details about energy-saving or to book a free thermal imaging survey call Colin on 0845 474 6641.