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I know what you are thinking, why should you buy something to save money, but hear me out. These buys are not too expensive and will help you to reduce your energy bills this winter by more than the initial outlay! This energy crisis will hit everyone so the sooner you look at reducing consumption the better in my opinion.

What is the energy bill crisis?

If you are in the UK I am pretty sure you will know what I am talking about here but do you know the actual statistics we are looking at?

There is a shortage of energy across the world, this is in part linked to the war in Russia and Ukraine.

We pay for energy based on a unit cost. The unit cost often varies from supplier to supplier but nowadays there is very little difference in my experience. All suppliers also charge a standing charge. This is the amount you pay regardless of the amount of fuel you use as it covers the cost of supplying fuel to your property.

Using the unit cost and the amount we use alongside a standing charge our bill is calculated. Everyone tends to use less in the summer than in the winter so often we set a direct debit for somewhere between the two costs so that over the winter we do not get in debt as we are using the excess paid over the summer.

Common misconceptions of the price cap

There are a lot of things people are misunderstanding about the price cap and I feel it is important to also share these to help anyone who is a little confused by what they are reading. It is easy to be confused by all the energy crisis news in the media but it is simpler than it sounds.

Misconception: My bill is capped at £2500

This cap is based on an average house with average usage. The energy cap is not actually a final bill cost. You could still get a bill for £4000. This figure is based on the annual usage of an “average household” for which you are unlikely to have the same usage as. The cap is actually on the unit cost.

Misconception: If I cancel my direct debit I will save money

You will only ever pay for the energy you use. your energy company will help you to find the correct direct debit amount to cover your usage. If you understand how it works this will help as you can also work out what is feasible for you. If you know your usage will be less than last year for some reason you can factor that in.

By cancelling your direct debit it may actually cost you more as you would no longer receive any direct debit discount so this needs to be thought out. Either way, you will have to pay for the energy you use. It is just whether you pay it in advance as a guess and top up any difference (or get a refund of any difference). Or whether you have to save to pay the bill when it arrives.

Misconception: If I don’t pay for energy bills nothing will happen

Your supplier can and will cut off your supply if you do not pay. Each supplier will have a different point at which they decide you owe too much to keep supplying you. They should give you notice before they do this and it will be the last resort when they have tried to set up a payment plan with you.

Not paying your energy bills and getting into debt will affect your credit score. If you pay your bill when it arrives quarterly, however, this should not affect your credit score.

The actual energy cap amounts

Looking at your energy uses for the last 12 months, if you are in the same house with similar circumstances should give you a good idea of this year’s usage. If, like us, you have moved house this is a little harder!

The electricity unit price is fixed at 34p per kWh. The gas unit price is fixed at 10.3p per kWh. Using these figures you can calculate your energy bills based on last year’s usage. Your annual statement should share your usage in kWh or if not you can usually find it on your online energy account or by contacting your supplier directly.

3 products to buy from Vonhaus to reduce your energy bills

I have checked out these three items from Vonhaus to see how they could affect your energy bills if this is worrying you due to this energy crisis.

An oven costs around £1.14 per hour to run, looking for alternatives could be a great money saver if you use your cooker daily.

A slow cooker

I tried out this 6.5l slow cooker from Vonhaus. I love a slow cooker, it is so easy to make meals to be hot when you get home after a day out or from work. Have you seen my slow cooker recipes?

This slow cooker is probably similar in costs to run to other slow cookers but I have calculated the costs for this one. It is 290w so costs 9.86p per hour to run. So for something like roast beef which I cook for 5 hours it costs less than 50p. Alternatively cooking the same roast beef in the oven takes around 90 minutes so, even without accounting for the warming-up time, this would cost around £1.60.

This slow cooker is £44.99 from Vonhaus if you prefer a smaller capacity one they have a 3.5l for £34.99 and a 1.5l for £24.99. In my experience, they last for years too so well worth investing.

Vonshef air fryer

An air fryer is another great alternative to an oven. Have you seen everyone on social media going crazy for them since the start of the energy crisis? It essentially is like a mini oven and can cook all manner of things from chips to chicken nuggets and even a cake! This 5.5l air fryer includes a tin, tongs, a grilling/cooling rack and a silicon heat-proof mat!

Please forgive my reflection – It is so shiny I couldn’t take a photo any other way!

The temperature ranges from 80°c to 200°c and can be easily adjusted for whatever you are cooking. Ten minutes of use of this 1800w air fryer would cost around 10p.

If you want to cook some frozen Quorn nuggets as I did yesterday then this is perfect. I would usually preheat the oven for around 15 minutes and then cook for 15 minutes which would cost around 55p. With the air fryer, it took 15 minutes at a cost of 15p.

This Vonshef air fryer is £69.99 and in my opinion a great buy.

King Size electric blanket

Instead of heating your whole bedroom or even the whole house at bedtime, it can be so much cheaper to simply heat your bed. This is where an electric blanket is perfect. Buying this before winter will help you reduce your bills during the energy crisis.

Vonhaus have two electric blankets, double and king size. I have the king-size version but imagine the two are similar in energy usage. Each has two controllers so they are perfect if you and your partner prefer different sleeping temperatures.

Each side is 60w, so assuming you both have it on, it will cost you 40.8p for 10 hours of use. The reality is though you will not need it on for that long, so for a use of 2 hours which is much more realistic, it would cost 8.16p.

This King size electric blanket is £64.99 and the double electric blanket is £52.99.

Useful energy costs for comparison

If you want to compare the two kitchen appliances with others here are a few costs to take note of. These are based on the energy crisis costs with the energy cap as of 1st October.

Cooking

  • Using an oven for 1 hour £1.04-£1.14.
  • Using a microwave for 10 minutes 5.2p-13p
  • Boiling a kettle 7.8p
  • The above slow cooker 9.86p per hour
  • Air fryer above 10 minutes for 10p

Heating

Costs of heating vary greatly but heating your whole house with central heating is usually going to cost much more than heating just one person in one room. During the energy crisis, it is always going to be better to heat just the person. These prices should help with a good comparison to the above electric blanket.

  • The above electric blanket 4p per hour
  • An average electric heater £1.30 per hour
  • Watching TV costs 10-20p per hour so it is cheaper to go to bed and be toastie warm!

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