1 in 20 Brits bewildered by energy bills

25 November 2008 / by Rachael Stiles
Fool.co.uk is calling for clearer energy bills after its research found that one in 20 Brits are clueless when it comes to their energy bills, while the same number never even bother to look at their bill at all.

Only about half of the UK population claim to have a rough idea of what their quarterly fuel bills mean, the research revealed.

A third go through their energy bills thoroughly each month, but Fool.co.uk's findings reveal that this alone will not necessarily improve their knowledge about what their bills mean and how to save energy, as this group were none the wiser about how much is costs to use common household appliances.

For example, says Fool.co.uk, the average energy-user believes that a 10 minute shower would cost 42p, when it actually costs 12p, and they think that leaving the TV on standby at night would cost 25p, when it costs just 1p a day.

And, contrary to popular belief, only boiling as much water in the kettle as is needed does not save that much money, explains Fool.co.uk as it only costs about 1p, compared to the 7p that people typically think it costs.

"Scrutinising quarterly gas and electricity bills is the first important step to saving money on utilities." says David Kuo, head of personal finance at Fool.co.uk, because it allows householders to confirm that meter readings are correct and encourages them to switch energy providers if they think they are paying too much.

"Beyond that, comparing your bills with similar houses in your neighborhood could identify if your home is energy efficient." Mr Kuo continued. "If it isn't, then consider applying for Government grants to help pay for loft and cavity wall insulation.

"Finally, work out how much domestic appliances cost to run. It's pointless skimping on a cup of tea but brushing your teeth in the shower. That's tantamount to taking the seeds from a melon and throwing away the fruit."

© Fair Investment Company Ltd