Time to consider your options as gas bills rise

Surely it’s no surprise that sales of sustainable heating solutions are on the rise when yet another warning of traditional fuel bill hikes hits the headlines.

Yesterday British Gas owner, Centrica, admitted that market conditions for its residential energy supply business are “significantly more challenging” than in 2010.

The wholesale price of gas and electricity is likely to rise 25 per cent this winter and although no decision has yet been taken on what tariff increases will be seen by consumers, there can be little doubt that it will cost more to heat your home this winter than previously.

Unless, of course, you are one of the thousands of householders choosing an alternative solution. Customers buying automatic wood pellet boiler systems or solar thermal installations will be discovering it actually pays to be green thanks to the Government’s Renewable Heating Incentive.

A premium payment of £950 will be handed over to home-owners installing a wood pellet boiler and £300 for solar thermal installations from July 2011, providing the customer meets the criteria set out by the Government. There will be an announcement this month about the tariff that will apply to domestic installations, which will be payable from October 2012.

Comparison website, Uswitch, said Centrica’s announcment contained ‘hints’ that consumers could end up seeing further price rises and that the company could be preparing the ground for a second round of price increases.

With this kind of warning shot across the bows, it makes you wonder how long it will be before the other big six suppliers start making noises about wholesale price rises and how they will need customers to share some of the load.

Now could be a good time to be considering your options, especially if you have a looming need to replace a traditional oil, gas or solid fuel system…

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