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Confused About Energy is a free impartial service to help you reduce energy consumption and save on your energy costs. Much of the available information regarding energy efficiency savings is confusing and misleading. At Confused About Energy we aim to cut through the jargon and provide practical, impartial advice on all aspects of energy use and ways in which you can save money, this includes:-


Household Energy Costs: Heating, insulation, water, harnessing energy and more.

house hold energy costs

Car Energy Costs: The real MPG, using less fuel, green cars efficient cars and more

car energy costs

Energy Grants and Schemes: A quick guide to help you see what grants and schemes are available to help you out.

car energy costs

Energy Storage: also new to Confused About Energy, starting with batteries, again much more will be added throughout the year.


Current Fuel Prices

Calculations throughout this site give an indication of the costs of energy used in various domestic applications.

The current prices of fuels are used and they are updated annually.   They can only be indicative, as prices do vary between suppliers and your circumstances.

The prices currently in use on this site are in the bar chart below. When prices are updated, calculations throughout the whole site also update automatically.

energy prices kWh gas electricity kerosene fuel oil wood biomass LPG coal smokeless propane butane

Read more about domestic fuels...

Prices were last updated

The Prices for electricity and gas are taken from BERR (Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform) and are updated annually, All prices include VAT and delivery where appropriate


Switching Energy Provider


I switched energy provider it was easy and the savings are considerable.

I switched using uSwitch on the 23rd JAN 2014 from nPower to OVO. The table below shows the savings I will make, they are considerable and the process of switching was so simple, please read on by clicking "more" below the table. I will now be switching each year to maintain these prices.

Remember energy providers only reward disloyalty.

SupplierYearElectricity (Pence/kWh)Electricity Standing Charge (£)online discount (£)Electricity Units Consumed (kWh)Total Electricitry Cost (£/Year)Add VAT (5%)
ElectricityNpowerLate 2013 rates16.4206000985.21034.46
OvoFixed 2014 contract rate10.9100-28.56000725.5761.775
Gas (Pence/kWh)Gas Standing Charge (£)online discount (£)Gas Units Consumed (kWh)Total Gas Cost (£/Year)Add VAT (5%)
GasNpowerLate 2013 rates4.47550.0120000945.01992.2605
OvoFixed 2014 contract rate3.5594.86-28.520000776.36815.178
Total Cost inc VATSaving (£)
TotalsNpowerLate 2013 rates2026.7205
OvoFixed 2014 contract rate1576.953449.7675


Energy Companies Obligation (ECO)


Free Insulation for some!

The Energy Companies Obligation ECO provides grants to cover all or part of the cost of energy efficiency measures in low-income households and communities. It is works alongside the Green Deal to help to those on low incomes and benefits or in deprived areas to install energy saving improvements without having to take out a Green Deal loan. In addition ECO provides special grants towards the cost of solid wall insulation or properties with ‘hard to treat’ cavity walls as these measures can be very costly to install.


Global Energy and Carbon Dioxide


We started this site in 2008. At that time our younger brains wrote a few articles that provoked a measure of vitriol from the good willed and so-called green community. I say, “so-called” because their non-solutions can so often be counter productive. In the years of examining why this is, it has become my view that there is simply a lack of awareness of scale. Simply put, there is a lack of comprehension of how much bang for you buck you get with fossil fuels compared to a renewable energy source like a windmill or a heat pump. To be clear I have no issue with renewable energy sources, they are great, but thinking that we will ever meet the world’s energy needs with renewables is fanciful.

With fusion energy in place we should reserve fossil fuels for aviation and my trips to the Mediterranean; it is a medical need!

The articles in 2008 were based on a simple premise and that is as long as there are economically recoverable fossil fuels someone around the world will be recovering them and ultimately burning them. We showed that in spite of the plethora of “renewable schemes” that fossil fuel consumption would increase and that it would continue to increase until at least 2050, with the consequent increase in CO2 emissions and the problems these will cause the planet. This has proven to be the case. There was one caveat to this premise, once a true alternative to fossil fuels becomes available, then this paradigm will immediately shift. The only likely alternative on the 30-year horizon is fusion energy.


Teaching Global Warming


Our Children can’t be expected to understand the Global Warming debate until they have an understanding of “The Facts”

I recently picked up my teenaged son’s school science revision guide, at the same time asking him if he needed any help. “I'm fine” he said and maybe I should have respected this but I was bored and felt a familiar urge to irritate him without motive because unfortunately that’s the kind of Dad I am (in return I have made an implied promise to leave him half a house when I die and to be fair both he and his brother seem relaxed about this arrangement). So anyway, I resolved to test him on the material in the guide with a view to ensuring that he gets enough qualifications to get him a job that will allow him to escape my tormenting at the earliest opportunity? The subject of the open page of the booklet was “The Environment” and since I didn’t feel inclined to wade through the whole document I decided to play the cards as they fell. “The Environment” it was.


Top 10 tips for improving your car fuel economy

0fficial mpg

With the current high fuel prices, even a relatively small improvement in your MPG can save you money. Most drivers will be able to make savings by changing their driving habits and techniques.


Confused About Batteries


We are! We have decided to try to find out how much energy there actually is in your average battery. There are so many brands, names, categories and types it is very unclear what you actually get for your money. Should you buy an expensive alkaline battery or would a cheaper brand suffice. Batteries use descriptive words like, superpower, power plus or extra energy to describe what you get, but there is no data on the side of batteries to quantify what you are buying. So we have decided to find out.

There are complications in calculating the energy in a battery, since the energy of the output varies with the change in voltage as a battery is discharged at a given rate (mAh specified). An absolute number for the capacity of the battery (the number of mAh) can however be evaluated easily by setting the discharge current of the test apparatus to a fixed value. If you are then willing to accept an approximation of energy by averaging the discharge voltage over the discharge time then the energy in each battery can be estimated.


Android Phone App

android energy app

We now have a bit of fun energy calculator app for android phone, click the link to find out more. Link to app

World Power Production

This is the best world enery graphic and simulation tool we have come across so we have put it on the home page! Wish we had done it.

world power generation graph coal oil gas solar wind nuclear biomass

Site Symbols

Icons are also used throughout the site to indicate the level of saving or the relative cost implications associated with an choice you might make, or a tip you read or related to how your house is currently configured. These icons below.
pence lowest priority
£ 10+ Think twice, perhaps you should focus elsewhere first
£ 100+ Worth doing
£ 1000+ Focus your effort here to save as much money as possible

In some areas there are some substantial investments you may choose to make, in sections describing these we indicate with two icons, thumbs up or down, if the investment is a good one. Payback in less than 15 years is regarded as reasonable, but longer that that poor. These icons are below.
less than 15 years to payback investment
More than 15 years to payback the investment

Site Units

The main units used in this site are in the table below, For a complete explanation of any of these Wikipedia is an excellent resource.

Unit Name Detail
W Watt Unit of Power
kW Kilowatt 1000 watts
kWh Kilowatt hour Measure of Energy
L Litre Measure of Volume

Best Investment table

Measures to reduce fuel bills ROI*
Lagging 1
Loft Insulation 1.8
Cavity Wall Insulation 2
Underfloor Insulation 3.8
Solid Wall Insulation 13.6
Solar Hot Water 30
Double Glazing 50

*ROI is the time it takes in years to return the investment in fuel savings for an average gas heated 3 bed semi-detached house. The table assumes no government incentive schemes are used.

Renewable Energy Measures ROI**
Heat Pumps
- Replacing Electric
4 to 7
Heat Pumps
- Replacing LPG
51 to 101
Wind Power 13 to 51
Solar Photovoltaics 22 to 59

**ROI is the time it takes in years to return the investment in electricity savings. The table assumes no government incentive schemes are used.

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    Hi Irina happy to chat. email is best method since we are UK based. This is the best e-mail to use the article looks ...
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    Irina Papuc
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    Dear Confused About Energy Editorial Team, My name is Irina, and I'm part of the Growth Team at Toptal. Our Toptal Engineering Blog has published a ...
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    Am going to be moving into a property that has an oil fired boiler. For an average house how much more would it cost than gas per year. Is it worth us ...
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    David Burdett
    Having a roof done on a 30's semi-detached. Upgrading the loft insulation. I haven't found any advice about the trade-off between adding loft insulation ...

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