“Check, Switch, Save” is the message from Citizens Advice South Hams as it prepares for its annual energy awareness campaign, which this year starts with Big Energy Saving Week (BESW) on January 21st and runs through to Fuel Poverty Awareness Day on Feb 15th.
Citizens Advice is the statutory consumer champion for energy and is leading the campaign to make people aware of how much energy they are using and are charged for. According to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) one in five customers living in private rented households in England are in fuel poverty.
The local charity is supporting events around the South Hams to raise awareness of how much energy households use, how much they are paying, and if they can save by switching supplier or by making their homes more energy efficient. Where eligible Citizens Advice will help home owners apply for loans or grants and advise private renters if they feel a property is falling below new energy legislation.
As well as promoting Big Energy Savings Week, Citizens Advice South Hams has also received a grant from Western Power Distribution to help local clients within the South Hams who are especially vulnerable. The charity can carry out an energy assessment and suggest measures to reduce fuel bills by looking at consumption to see if savings can be made by switching to another supplier and where necessary ensure that clients are put on a Priority Services Register. They can also check if clients are eligible for discounts on utilities bills, or assistance with rent/mortgage and council tax payments or any other benefit not currently being claimed.
Janie Moor, CEO of Citizens Advice South Hams says, “Our annual energy efficiency campaign is more important than ever. Our research shows that over 47% of fuel poor households are in employment and yet still can’t afford their energy bills. Our trained energy assessors can help people who are struggling to pay their energy bills or who are worried about heating their homes during the winter months.
We will make sure all their energy needs are met and their supplier is aware of their situation. Our aim is that anyone in the South Hams who is worried about energy bills is charged a fair amount and has a warmer winter”.
Over the next month Citizens Advice will be running events across the South Hams, if you have concerns about energy, applying for grants or want to check eligibility for the Priority Services Register, visit your nearest event –
Tuesday 22nd, 9.30am-12pm in The Watermark Centre, Ivybridge
Wednesday 23rd, 10am-12pm in The Library, Totnes
Tuesday 29th, 11am-1.30pm in The Flavel, Dartmouth
Wednesday 30th, 9.30am-11.30am in Morrisons, Totnes
Friday 15th, February, 11am-2pm in The Library, Kingsbridge
Please bring a recent fuel bill if you can, or have your account and logon details to hand.
If you cannot attend any of the events and would like to talk to Citizens Advice South Hams energy efficiency team, call 01803-659733 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Information can also be found on www.bigenergysavingweek.org.uk or by ringing the National Consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.