Think Money

Think Money

December 24, 2009 07:30 ET

Energy-Efficient Homes Could Help Avoid Debt

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Dec. 24, 2009) -

Summary: Responding to a new report suggesting that many householders in the UK are potentially losing money because their homes are not energy-efficient, financial solutions company Think Money said that households should consider ways of making their homes more efficient to save money and avoid debt.

Responding to a new report suggesting that many householders in the UK are potentially losing money because their homes are not energy-efficient, financial solutions company Think Money said that households should consider ways of making their homes more efficient to save money and reduce their risk of debt in the difficult economic climate.

But the company added that improving efficiency is unlikely to help people struggling with existing debts, and people in this situation should seek debt advice as soon as they can.

Research by Halifax found that the "vast majority" of homes in England and Wales have an energy efficiency rating of 'average' or 'below average', and could be spending unnecessary amounts of money as a result. Fewer than a quarter of homes were rated 'above average', Halifax added.

A spokesperson for financial solutions company Think Money said that in the current economic climate, energy efficiency is much more than just an environmental consideration.

"There is a lot to be said for the environmental side of making homes more energy-efficient, but many people don't realise that there's also a financial incentive. The Energy Advice Trust estimates that the average home could save Pounds Sterling 270 a year by installing roof and wall insulation, and there are a number of other things people can do to use less energy.

"The case for making homes more energy-efficient is all the more important given the energy price rises seen in the last two years. Many customers found themselves in debt on their accounts because their direct debit payments had not been changed accordingly, and many more struggled to keep up with significantly higher prices.

"Energy prices rose by more than 60% for both gas and electricity in 2008, and although we have seen some cuts in 2009, prices are still significantly higher than they were in 2007 and early 2008. This has put a lot of pressure on people's finances, especially those struggling with existing debts.

"Things like having insulation installed, keeping curtains closed after dusk and keeping doors closed can help to reduce the amount of energy used, and therefore can reduce some of the pressure on the billpayer's finances.

"However, for things like insulation, there may be an initial up-front fee which some people could struggle to afford. There is a Government grant to help with the cost, but it could still prove to be expensive to some people, especially people with existing debts.

"And it's important to note that simple efficiency measures aren't likely to help anyone who is struggling to meet their bills already. We advise anyone who finds themselves in this situation to discuss their options with an expert debt adviser as soon as they can."

Notes to Editors

One of the UK's leading financial solutions providers, Think Money is based in Salford Quays, Manchester, and employs around 700 employees to deliver a comprehensive range of debt, loan, insurance and banking solutions.

The company provides debt solutions to help people with varying levels of debt, including debt management plans and IVAs (Individual Voluntary Arrangements).

Think Money defines its mission as 'To educate, rehabilitate and advise on all aspects of financial management'.

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