Over the past few years, the cost of many things has gone up, while wages have either dropped or remained more or less the same. Unfortunately, this has led to many more families struggling to make ends meet.
The rising cost of power
Take the cost of power as an example. In some parts of the world, prices have risen steeply. For example, in Spain, in just 6 years, the cost of electricity rose by 60%.
The fact that power prices have risen so fast has left some homeowners feeling that they are fighting a losing battle. As a result, some gave up trying to save money on their fuel bills, long ago.
Use a smart meter
This is a real shame because advances in power monitoring technology mean that working out where your money is going and reducing your usage is in fact easier than it has ever been. With the help of these devices, many homeowners have been able to reduce their fuel bill by double figures. Some, like the person featured in this article, saved over 50%.
It is now possible to buy smart meters that accurately monitor how much electricity and gas you are using. Some of the more expensive models enable you to narrow down which appliances are consuming the most power.
Armed with this information you can easily reduce your bill by turning off things you do not need. You can easily work out if buying a countertop halogen cooker and using that instead of your convection oven is a good idea, or would be a false economy.
Shop around for the best deal
Regardless of what type of fuel or power you use it is possible to shop around to get the best deals. Price comparison websites make this extremely easy to do.
It is important to do this at least once a year, ideally during the summer. This is because most power companies put their prices up in the winter. Therefore, you will often get the best price if you switch during the summer months.
You need to bear in mind that home heating oil prices fluctuate, so when you buy your oil has a big impact on how much it costs to fill your tank. It makes sense to keep an eye on the price throughout the year and buy when you see the price dropping.
Take note of energy ratings
When buying new appliances it really is worth buying those with the best energy ratings. Clearly, the more power hungry the appliance is the more important it is that you do this. It is particularly important to consider the power rating when buying items like fridges that are left on all day.
In the case of a washing machine or dishwasher try to find out how much energy they use per wash. Doing this will help you to buy the most energy efficient appliances.
Also, think about the size of your appliances. Typically, a regular fridge will cost 50% less to run than a much larger American style one would.