Fuel price rises - what (if anything) will you change?

It’s all looking a bit grim isn’t it?

Wisely or unwisely I’ve never gone for any fixed rate tariffs, and preferred to ‘pay for what I’ve used seasonally’ on a quarterly basis rather than paying for fuel via DD before I’d actually used it (as I used to). Perhaps my lower spring/summer payments reduce energy companies ability to buy ‘futures’, but I suspect I’m in the minority. Would be interesting to know the %age having to use pre-payment meters vs DD vs PAYG.

We primarily use electricity not gas currently, but there will be a big knock on heating wise.

Costs are key nudges to altering behaviour after a certain point.

Will I turn off the hi-fi kit daily or even put some extension leads on a timer plug? I wonder how much that might save? Some time since I measured consumption on a per device basis, and even then it didn’t really affect what I did when energy costs were much lower.

What might you do?

1 - Turn off hi-fi when not in use?
2 - Reduce use of white goods? Apart from the tumble dryer probably not - few practical alternatives to the washing machine, fridge/freezer, dishwasher (?). I do have 2 freezers and 2 fridges however so could cut back to 1 of each in use.
3 - Lighting has been LED for many years, only marginal improvements available with newer bulbs, especially with many dimming automatically overnight.
4 - Doubt we’ll cook less or drink less tea/coffee.
5 - Computers - stopped using my Mac Pro tower several years ago - a beast at the time but so was the electricity usage, probably not far off a kWh left on 24/7 as a media server, video compressor etc. Old Mac Mini now on 24/7, for Roon, iTunes, Audirvana and general browsing/computing. Still pretty power hungry compared to an M1 Mini which I plan to buy.
6 - Portable device charging - probably not hugely significant.
7 - Items on standby - again probably not hugely significant though technically a waste.
8 - Heating - clearly a big energy cost especially electric heating - rely on thermostat (reduce) or room ‘comfort feel’? Use fewer rooms? Tricky as most are in use. Wear more jumpers/thicker clothes etc - hardly impossible or impractical and definitely what we’d have done decades ago. ‘Central heating’ is comparatively new in UK houses in the grand scheme of things.

Proactive things:

1 - Insulation - certainly room for improvement especially in the loft (despite a discussion last year here). Elsewhere far fewer options and a balance between ‘natural drafts’ in an early 20th century property and need for the building ‘to breathe’.
2 - Solar power - could really become attractive if panel prices don’t skyrocket.
3 - Go back to the office so I’m not paying to heat my domestic ‘workplace’ or use the supplied multi-monitor home working solution. Then I spend money on fuel.

There must be many others.

It really is looking quite unpleasant in coming months/years, but I know I’m amongst those fortunate enough (now) who can at least currently change other expenditure when energy costs dictate.

I know there are many less fortunate who will have to make very difficult decisions.

Please, please avoid political comments. Thanks.



Put on another pullover and buy some new thermals


I may welcome the fact that I seem to have lost a few pounds in recent years - I have several jumpers that are now rather too baggy which would fit over smaller ones! I still have too many I mush have shrunk that are currently too small!

I agree with all of the ‘saving energy’ things, when the UK is contemplating its energy grid the question of lead-in time is a big factor, cutting energy usage is fast and low cost, adding supply is expensive and takes a long time.

Storage (batteries) is another key tool in maximising the benefit from renewables, there are an increasing number of large battery schemes cropping up which work on a local level.

I bought into thermal vests when I started cycling ten years or so ago, I still reap the benefits albeit mainly when I walk the dog these days!


I think for everyone (ok, most normal people) there is a cost threshold which will nudge you to save energy - many here will have taken the hit of leaving their hi-fi powered 24/7 when energy was cheaper. It is harder to justify now, and probably wasn’t ever environmentally but when energy was cheaper…

  1. The mac pro was a good one. I’ve had it permanently on for years as well, but now I have it scheduled to go into sleep mode every night. If I don’t use it, it stays off for a few days but generally it is used a few hours in the evening. This alone dropped our electricity consumption by 25%.

  2. Last week a new boiler was installed. This should be significantly cheaper than the 15 year old one which was giving errors almost daily. It had to be replaced anyhow.

  3. To support the new boiler, we hope that the related heat pump arrives before end of year. This should reduce gas consumption and use electricity. The system has a pretty smart algorithm: if warmth can be produced cheaper with gas, use gas. Otherwise, use the heat pump. The system is reliant on gas & electricity prices.

  4. In Feb 2022 our veranda will be installed. On its roof 12 solar panels.

  5. We are installing extra storm windows.

Our house has already good other insulation in the walls, floor etc.

  1. Last but not least, we hope to have our new fireplace installed before XMas - nothing beats these 1300 kilogram beasts in efficiency:

We can use our own wood.

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Pre-payment meters in the UK are really only used by those with no money and no credit score. It’s the most expensive way to buy energy. An under-recognised benefit of smart meters is that pre-payment customers can get tariffs that are approaching the savings or even the same as credit customers (which is an extraordinary thing to be able to say).

But I bet almost no-one on this forum has a pre-payment meter, except perhaps in a second home, although even there that would be a real hairshirt approach.

I use DD these days, mainly because it’s the way the market has been set up.


I know that it is not the same thing as dealing with cost, but the issues are linked. When they start cutting off domestic districts to keep the hospitals and industry ‘on’, people will really start thinking about saving energy.

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Yes precisely. I may be wrong but when looking at tariffs a few years ago locally those tariffs often seemed better and I wondered if anyone could have one (morally wrong if you were no longer subsidising those in difficulty I feel and I never explored further).

I still wonder about dual energy tariffs for electricity and why they are not promoted more. Naturally SmartMeters may provide more granularity and fairness but I’ve not installed one.

Impressive looking stove - a beast!

I’m still not convinced that fossil fuel usage is necessarily as bad as many alternatives, especially wood where it can be or approach being carbon neutral but theer are other concerns.

You are lucky to have a supply of wood, I often wish I’d bought a property many years ago with a small woodland for this very reason.

I wonder if the cost of fuel for wood burning stoves is about to rocket - a problem I see is that wood often produces moderately intense heat fairly quickly with a need to replenish fuel frequently - stove designs such as yours presumably retain the heat far longer.

Currently to have steady/slow but decent heat output I’d need to use coal/peat or those awful briquettes full of additives.

Gas boilers are more efficient the lower the flow temperature.

So, manual weather compensation is a good idea; I’ve been doing it for years.
Before you go to bed, set the boiler flow temperature based on the overnight outside temperature.

Once the house has reached the target temperature in the morning, turn the boiler flow temperature down, you won’t need as much heat to maintain target temperature as you needed to raise a cold house to the target temperature. If you have a modern boiler with efficient controls, it probably does this anyway.


I gather some modern boilers also have outside temp sensors which adjust what they do for the inside.

My boiler is in the loft, so doing what you suggest would be quite tricky…


Isn’t that just for condensing gas boilers ?

Yes. It should be fired up twice a day. Once in the morning, once in the late afternoon. It burns at a high temperature.

The guy who’s building it will give us a training - that’s included in the price.

We hope that the combination of a gas boiler, heatpump and the fireplace proves to be a good one.

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So in essence it acts as some kind of storage heater between burns?

Mine does have the outside temp, inside temp and the set temperature. Its ‘Atag’, not sure if this brand is known in the UK.

Always paid dd, as it’s always been the most cost effective.

Won’t change anything, why should I?

Genuinely can’t believe people leave computers on 24/7. What’s wrong with you?

I’ll confess I’m being dim here but what is the ‘flow temperature’?

The temp of water circulating to radiators or something else?

Rarely do it now but I often used to batch computationally intensive and rather slow video rendering apps running overnight, less so these days. Always on 24/7 server processes were also a reason.

Work computers running at home often need to be accessed urgently too where a reboot/VPN login could be detrimental taking many minutes - maybe not much but potentially significant and dangerous in my line of work.