Both for Brexit and fossil fuel prices, there’s only one thing that’s certain: uncertainty!
With its coal mines long gone and North Sea gas production in steady decline since the turn of the millennium, the UK is increasingly dependent on imports for its fuel supply. That means that global geopolitics inevitably has a significant effect on the cost of gas, and ultimately those costs will be passed onto consumers.
Although the price of gas has been going down recently, there’s no guarantee that trend will continue, especially as the falling value of the pound makes imports more expensive. There’s two ways to avoid being at the mercy of global politics just to heat your home. Firstly, there are “renewable heat” options such as biomass and heat pumps. Secondly, energy efficient homes can cut the amount of heat you need to stay comfortable. Of course, you can do both!
Biomass is an excellent option for larger rural areas, where wood pellets can be sourced locally. Alternatively, heat pumps can be installed virtually anywhere and achieve remarkable efficiency by simply moving the heat from outside to inside, rather than generating it. They run on electricity, which is less likely to suffer from price fluctuations as it can be generated by many sources, including solar and the wind.
Whether or not you switch to renewable heat, saving energy is a surefire way to cut your costs. If you’re building a new home, it’s now possible to make it so well insulated that it doesn’t even need a heating system! Upgrading an existing building to that level of performance is very difficult, but there are cost effective improvements you can make, such as loft insulation, draught excluders and an energy saving smart thermostat. Smart heating controls can make a huge difference, especially in larger properties, and are also one of the easiest upgrades to install.