While consumers almost certainly face further gas and energy prices rises in the coming years, Tesco has started its new Home Insulation Service to help customers reduce both their energy bills and their carbon footprint.
For just £199 per home insulation project, Tesco customers can have their loft or their wall cavities insulated. The offer includes a free survey before the insulation work starts, and is completely free for the over 70s and people on benefits.
Energy prices have soared in recent months, leaving many Brits struggling to pay their gas and electricity
bills, and future developments seem increasingly uncertain as energy companies merge and there is less and less competition in the market.
French group EDF Energy is set to conclude a £12billion deal to buy British Energy this week after an offer by British rival Centrica got rejected by the Government because of a lack of nuclear expertise and its relatively small size.
This is potentially bad news for consumers as the country is becoming more and more dependent on imports, and as gas supplies in most continental European countries are secured by long-term deals, energy suppliers use the British market to keep up their own flexibility.
In the words of an industry expert: "We are left on tenterhooks to see what European demand will be, and how much will be left for us". Accordingly, British energy prices are much more volatile than in the rest of Europe, and residential customers are more vulnerable position to price increases – it is thought that a merger between British Energy and Centrica to one strong British energy group might have helped to prevent this.
Consequently, it is becoming increasingly important for customers to reduce their future energy usage, as David North, Tesco's Community and Government Director, points out: "Ensuring that your home is properly insulated is the single biggest thing you can do to save energy and help fight climate change.
"According to the Energy Saving Trust, the average household could save up to £275 every year by insulating their loft space and cavity walls. It's an investment well worth making."
According to estimates, as many as nine million homes in the UK are not sufficiently insulated. A home can lose half its heat through inadequately insulated walls and roofs; insulation can help prevent heat loss, cutting energy bills and helping to reduce the danger of fuel poverty for pensioners and low-income households.
Tesco has set itself the target to insulate half a million homes over the next three years. Mr North added: "We wanted to offer a simple and straightforward service to help people get ready for winter, and save money on their fuel bills. If needed, we also offer an attic clearance service to make it as easy as possible to finally get your loft properly lagged."
The Tesco Home Insulation Services is just one in a series of green initiatives from the supermarket chain. Last year it also cut the price of energy-efficient light bulbs by half in order to help consumers to 'go green' and receive lower energy bills
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