Has the price of electricity and gas got you feeling nervous about the future? If it hasn't, then it definitely should, as the trend of price increases is set to continue in the future.
At the minute the majority of people are able to survive without having to make any real sacrifice. However, as the price of oil gravitates upwards, the price of everything else associated with oil will also increase. This means food prices will increase as transportation costs increase - definitely not something that can be sustained by the majority of people.
You already know the costs of running your home and how tight your budget is - would it be possible to afford the same lifestyle if the cost of everything increased by 50% or more?
Unless action is taken by individual people to improve their efficiency now, companies will continue to pass on price hikes to essential items like food. By taking simple actions as an individual you will be doing your part. As more and more individuals do their part, prices will stabilize and effectively decrease due to lower demand.
It isn't rocket science - but it is basic economics. It is a simple case of supply and demand that helps drive price movements. If individuals reduce wastage and become efficient, then collectively there will be lower demand. Prices will gravitate downwards until people can comfortably buy again in larger quantities.
There are numerous things people can do to start living more efficiently, but companies won't make as much profit and therefore don't encourage efficient living enough. You can even get started now by doing a quick check of every electrical appliance in your home.
All you need to do is get a notepad and pen and walk around your house. Check everything is switched off that isn't in use. If something has been left on, but not being used e.g. your TV is on standby, you should make a note to remind yourself to turn it off when it isn't being used. Naturally, if you weren't responsible for that indiscretion, you can always inform the person who was by referring to your notes.
If you do carry out this quick house survey - remember to turn the computer monitor off as well, even if it is for a few minutes, it will still save you money. At the end of the month, if you ensure all appliances are being used more efficiently, you could have saved up to 35% of your electricity bill.
There are many other solutions available to further reduce energy bills. You can find out if solar or wind energy is suitable for you along with a lot more practical tips to save money at: www.efficientplanet.com