Reduce your gas and electric bills with help from Citizens Advice South Hams

Janie Moor News

Advisers are now on hand in South Hams to help people understand the ways they can reduce their energy bills.

Research last year revealed 3 in 10 people believe they will be unable to heat their homes to a comfortable level over the winter.

To help local people cut down on costs and reduce their fuel bills Citizens Advice South Hams is running Energy Best Deal sessions as part of their Brighter Futures project (https://southhamscab.org.uk/brighterfutures/).

The sessions will be held on:

  • Tuesday 25th April at 1.30pm – 2pm, Kingsbridge Primary School Annexe, Belle Cross Road, Kingsbridge, TQ7 1NL.
  • Wednesday 26th April at 1.30pm – 2pm, South Hams Children’s Centre (Dartmouth Base) Milton Lane, Dartmouth, TQ6 9HW.

Advisers at these sessions can help people compare their gas and electricity costs, negotiate with providers and reduce how much energy they use.

In many cases people can save hundreds of pounds on their gas and electricity bills. Some people will be able to save money by switching to a cheaper deal with another supplier. Citizens Advice has estimated that as many as 4.7 million households in England haven’t switched their energy supplier for 10 years.

People may also be able to cut costs by making their home more energy efficient. This could involve having their boiler serviced or getting double glazing for their windows.

Last year a record 14,000 people from across the UK attended an Energy Best Deal session to get help saving money on their bills.

People attending group sessions who find they need further help can ask for an appointment to discuss their situation further.

Lin Etherden, Project Lead for Brighter Futures, at Citizens Advice South Hams said:

“Bigger bills for gas and electricity can add to people’s financial worries at the beginning of the year.

“Many people could be able to save hundreds on their bills by switching to a cheaper deal or making their home more energy efficient.

“Anyone who wants to trim the cost of their gas and electricity can get in touch with our team for help.”

Today Citizens Advice also launched a new online tool so people can see at a glance how good the 18 biggest energy suppliers are at customer service. The tool has been developed to help people find the energy supplier which best suits their needs, so they can make an informed choice about switching based on both price and customer service.

The star rating for each energy supplier will also appear as part of Citizens Advice’s price comparison tool (https://energycompare.citizensadvice.org.uk/) . This means people will be able to see costs alongside the customer service rating to work out the best deal for them.

Anyone looking to cut their bills should attend the Energy Best Deal sessions, or contact Adviceline on 03444 111 444. More details on how to contact Citizens Advice South Hams can be found on their website: https://southhamscab.org.uk/. They are also on Twitter (@southhamscab) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/southhamscab).

Energy top tips

  1. If you are having problems paying your energy bills contact your nearest Citizens Advice. They can check to see if you are getting the benefits you are entitled to, or if you are eligible for extra help.
  2. Contact your supplier if you have problems paying or if you think your bill is wrong. If you’re struggling to afford your bills they should refer you to available support or talk you through repayment options.
  3. Make sure that you’re on the cheapest tariff. Check with your supplier and use the Citizens Advice price comparison tool to see what the best available deal for you is: https://energycompare.citizensadvice.org.uk
  4. If you are on the standard variable tariff check if there is a cheaper fixed deal available. The standard tariff is often much more expensive than other available fixed price tariffs, where the price of a unit of energy will stay the same for the length of the deal.
  5. Check your bills carefully and send a meter reading to your supplier regularly. This will allow you to check how much energy you use and make sure you’re paying the right amount. You can find out more about how to do this here: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/energy/energy-supply/your-energy-meter/how-to-read-your-energy-meter
  6. If you use a pre-payment meter, remember that standing charges will be added daily – even when you aren’t using energy. Check how much they are and keep your meter topped up even during warm weather to avoid unexpected charges
  7. If you use heating oil as your main fuel, buy before winter and see if there are any local oil buying clubs you can join. If not, you might want to start your own.
  8. Make your home more energy efficient – insulate lofts and walls, double glaze or use thick curtains to keep the heat in, and get your boiler serviced or replaced to ensure it is energy efficient. You can find out whether you are eligible for financial help with this here: https://www.gov.uk/energy-grants-calculator
  9. Avoid leaving appliances on standby or leave laptops and mobile phones on charge unnecessarily. Fix leaking taps and always turn off the light when you leave a room.
  10. Do a home energy check to find out about savings on household energy bills: http://hec.est.org.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes to editors:

  1. Energy suppliers contributed £1.397,178 for Energy Best Deal delivery between January and May 2017. The funding was contributed by the energy companies EDF Energy, First Utility, ScottishPower, SSE and Utility Warehouse.
  2. A questionnaire of 7,400 people attending Energy Best Deal sessions by the Centre for Sustainable Energy found that 3 in 10 said they couldn’t heat their home to a comfortable level in winter.
  3. Energy Best Deal is delivered through regional Financial Capability Forums and overseen by Citizens Advice.