Citizens Advice Celebrates Energy Week

Guy Collins News

More than 25 local families are in line to save £150 or more on their annual energy bills following free information sessions with Citizens Advice South Hams.

The charity was out and about in the community distributing goody bags and information to more than 100 people for Big Energy Saving Week, a national campaign to help people cut their fuel bills.

And it is not too late to get help: the initiative is part of a year-long programme called Energy Best Deal.  The charity can give you free advice as to whether you are with the best supplier or on the right tariff – whether that is from a financial point of view or based on other criteria such as finding a greener supply. Just call the charity’s national helpline: 03444 111444.

Last year, Ofgem, the energy regulator, introduced changes that make it easier to shop around and choose the best energy deal. Amongst other things, suppliers must provide an annual summary for each customer telling them their tariff and whether there is a lower one. They must also give advance warning of any price changes.

Citizens Advice South Hams energy project worker, Viv Oxley, said, “Many people we spoke to in Big Energy Saving Week could save over £150 each year by switching supplier. Others could save simply by paying their bills by direct debit.”

The charity has supported the week-long event for five years and this year held road shows in the Flavel, Dartmouth, Tesco and the library, Kingsbridge, the Watermark Ivybridge and Totnes Market.

As part of the Energy Best Deal initiative, the charity will also hold workshops aimed at helping frontline workers from other charities get on board too.

Janie Moor, the charity’s manager, warned how difficult it can be for those without internet access to switch supplier.  “There are plenty of websites that internet-savvy consumers can use to find a cheaper energy supplier, but for those who are less confident users, or don’t have an email address, it can be quite daunting.  This is where we can help.  Our dedicated staff and volunteers can help you every step of the way and make sure you are on the best deal.”

Information can also be found on the charity’s website: www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/energy/energy-supply/