The UK has plunged into a recession, the largest on record after months of stagnation during coronavirus lockdown. The lockdown triggered a 20.4 percent contraction between April and June in the biggest slump of any major global economy.
The recession is the first since the 2008 financial crisis, and official figures show the UK was the hardest hit of all major developed economies in the second quarter.
Monthly data has shown a recovery as the economy reopens with lockdown lifting, however the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the economy is still a long way off from recovering the record falls seen in March and April.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said that the ONS figures “confirm that hard times are here”.
He said: “Hundreds of thousands of people have already lost their jobs, and sadly in the coming months many more will.”
Read More: Money saving: How to manage your money better as recession hits UK
Now Britons are being urged to save money when they can, and one of the ways they can do this is by switching energy provider.
With the change in circumstances due to coronavirus, 25 million new home workers will see an increase in household energy bills by around 30 percent.
However, the cheapest energy deals today are 16 to 18 percent lower than this time last year, meaning there are good savings on offer for people who switch
James Longley, managing director at UtilityBidder.co.uk told Express.co.uk why it was important to switch suppliers as we head into a recession.
Mr Longley said: “If you haven’t checked what you are paying against the market rates, there is a chance that you could be paying too much for your gas and electricity.
“Rates vary regularly, so if you haven’t seen the type of packages being offered in the last 12 months, you could be forking out more than you need to.
“It can be a time consuming process to check all the latest rates against your own prices, so consider the appointment of a specialist firm which can take the time to compare prices on your behalf, as well as negotiate the best deal.”
“While the big name energy providers offer the reassurance of a well known brand and a large customer service set up, it is also possible their prices, as well as the service they offer, does not live up to their grand status.
“There are now many smaller energy providers on the market who can sell you better value gas or electricity packages, as well as deliver more personal and responsive customer service.”
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2) Defrost fridges and freezers regularly
It pays to keep fridges and freezers in good condition.
Make sure you defrost them at least once a year, or whenever you notice a build-up of ice. Also, try not to overload these appliances.
Keeping them very full for much of the time will mean they take more energy to maintain a sufficiently low temperature.
It’s also important to remove any objects that might restrict airflow around fridges and freezers.
3) Make sure radiators are unobstructed
Your heating system will work more efficiently if you make sure any radiators are unobstructed by items of furniture such as cabinets and desks.
So, where possible, avoid putting furniture in front of these heating outlets.
4) Re-seal windows and doors
Even seemingly tiny gaps around your doors and windows can result in significant heat loss from your premises.
To prevent this, you can reseal your doors and windows to block draughts and make your building more effective at retaining heat.
It’s not always easy to spot the problem areas, so for the best results, do a walk-around of your premises on a cold, windy day. This will help you to identify gaps that need filling.
5) Improve insulation in your walls and ceiling
Improving insulation in the walls and ceilings of your building isn’t necessarily cheap, but it could make your premises significantly more energy efficient and therefore prove to be a worthwhile investment in the medium to long term.
6) Make the switch to energy efficient lights
Figures cited by the Government suggest that upgrading from conventional lighting to LED technology can save people as much as 80 per cent on their lighting bills.
As well as being considerably cheaper to run than traditional light bulbs, LEDs also last much longer, bringing further savings.