It’s winter, so you’re probably flicking that heating switch on more than usual. However, if you’re shocked by your gas bill, there may be other reasons the cost has risen dramatically.
Your energy provider has raised the tariff
This may be the obvious answer, in which case you should shop around for a better deal. It pays to always look around for better gas deals. Some people will stay with the same company for years accepting the rises tariffs without realising that many other companies could provide cheaper rates.
Lots of short blasts vs a few long blasts
Part of the reason you’re churning through the gas may be the method of which you’re using your heating. Having your heating on all day is going to burn through a lot of gas. But putting the heating on intermittently in short bursts might be doing you just as much damage. It takes up a fair amount of energy to start up the flame and get it going – you may be better saving you heating to a couple long blasts, as you get up in the morning for a couple hours and as you go to bed.
Your home isn’t insulated properly
Making sure that your windows are double-glazed, that your loft is insulated and that doors are fitted with draft protectors can all help insulate your home. Other changes may have had an effect on insulation. Cracks and holes that may have formed in the last year or two could be losing you heat. Filling these out with caulk could be a temporary solution to this. Similarly have you bought new curtains? Replacing winter curtains with sash curtain or blinds may have caused you to lose heat.
There’s a gas leak somewhere
Worst case scenario, your house may be leaking gas. This could be down to a fault with your boiler or a fault with a cooker or hob. A badly fitted appliance may also be possibly leaking gas from its gas hose. There are many ways that you can check for a gas leak. Any smells or funny noises can be an immediate indication, as can condensation on the windows. The pilot light flame should always be blue, never orange or yellow. If you have been feeling light-headed or queasy recently, this could also be due to a gas leak (and should be treated as an emergency – you could be at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning). Ring up a heating installation company and get them to assess and fix the leak.
Your meter is faulty
It is highly unlikely but possible that your meter could be reading incorrectly, which could be leading to more gas consumption. If you suspect this to be the case, you should similarly call in a professional to have a look. Make sure that all the other factors have been considered before taking this action – if it turns out that your meter is working fine, you may still be charged for the visit.