Thursday 23 January 2020

Big Energy Saving Week 2020

Did you know that this week is Big Energy Saving Week, a national campaign run by Citizens Advice to help people cut their energy bills and get all the financial support they are entitled to.

The week focuses on raising public awareness of how to save money on energy costs by switching energy supplier or tariff, accessing discounts or grants, and making homes more energy efficient!

5 glass light bulbs hanging.

Find out exactly how much energy you’re using and what you’re paying for it. Talk to your supplier or local Citizens Advice if you think your bills are wrong or you have problems paying. You could be entitled to support to help you pay your bill.

 On average you could save up to £200 or more by switching energy supplier or changing the tariff. Switching energy provider is a quick and easy way to save money on your monthly gas and electricity bills and Citizens Advice have an energy price comparison tool to see if you can save money by switching.

Make your home more energy efficient by insulating lofts and walls where possible. You could save up to £130 a year on your energy bills by insulating your loft, and £150 with cavity wall insulation. Both can cost hundreds of pounds upfront to install, so it's worth checking whether you can get free insulation from your energy supplier first. Our energy supplier doesn't supply it but I searched on Google and found a company which would do it for free. We are getting it put in next week! 

You can cut your energy bills even further by being a bit more energy efficient. See if you can make any of these changes around the house:

Set the thermostat to come on only when you need it - 30 minutes before you get up in the morning and set it to switch off 30 minutes before you are due to leave. On an evening, set it to go off at least an hour before bed time, the remaining heat should keep you warm until you’re tucked up in bed.

Don’t leave anything plugged in that isn’t being used. A lot of wasted electricity occurs through leaving appliances plugged in that aren’t being used. Even charger cables that don’t have anything plugged into them but are still connected to the socket can waste electricity.

Close your curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping through the windows and check for draughts around windows and doors but make sure your curtains aren't covering any radiators, as this will stop heat from getting into your room.

Always turn off the light when you leave a room, and don’t leave appliances on standby and remember not to leave laptops and mobile phones on charge unnecessarily.

When you are doing the washing try to fill up the machine, tumble dryer or dishwasher. One full load uses less energy than two half loads. Washing at 30 degrees rather than 40 degrees can help reduce your energy usage too.

Try and ensure that you only boil as much water as you need.

A dripping hot water tap can waste enough energy in a single week to fill half a bath. Fix leaking taps and make sure they are fully turned off.

If you’ve got a shower that takes hot water straight from your boiler or hot water tank (rather than an electric shower), fit a water efficient shower head. This will reduce your hot water usage while retaining the sensation of a powerful shower. A water efficient shower head could save a four person household as much as £70 a year on gas for water heating!

If you turn down your main thermostat by 1 degree, you can around 10% on your energy bill. But make sure your home is warm enough during cold weather. Cold homes can damage your health.

Install a smart meter. If your supplier offers smart meters it’s a no brainer to install one. By clearly indicating where you’re spending the most on your energy, you can take steps to cut down usage wherever possible and save money.

There is several benefits which can help with heating costs especially in the winter.

Cold Weather Payment - A  payment if the average temperature in your area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees celsius or below for 7 consecutive days. 
You’ll get £25 for each 7 day period of very cold weather between 1 November and 31 March.

Warm Home Discount Scheme - You could get £140 off your electricity bill for winter 2019 to 2020 under the Warm Home Discount Scheme. The money is not paid to you  it’s a one off discount on your electricity bill, between September and March. You may be able to get the discount on your gas bill instead if your supplier provides you with both gas and electricity. Contact your supplier to find out.

Winter Fuel Payment - If you were born on or before 5 April 1954 you could get between £100 and £300 to help you pay your heating bills. This is known as a ‘Winter Fuel Payment’.

If you’ve tried to save energy but you are struggling to pay your bill, you should contact your supplier and see if they can help. You may be able to negotiate a payment plan if your energy bills are becoming too much for your budget.

Do you ever check your electric and gas supplier to see that you're on the best deal?

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