Citizens Advice Medway is a registered charity that offers free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to the whole of Medway on a range of issues including Housing, Welfare Benefits, Employment, Debt, Family Law and many others.
Big Energy Saving Week ran from 27th-31th January 2014 with the aim of helping consumers take practical steps to make cuts to their bills by checking that they are on the best deal, switching tariff or supplier and taking up help to insulate their homes and reduce their energy usage. It focused on raising awareness of energy and efficiency issues among the general public through joint working between the voluntary sector and energy suppliers. The week has taken place twice previously, with leadership from Citizens Advice and involvement from energy suppliers, Government and other charitable partners.
This year, the national campaign was BIG – involving as many CABs as possible to spread the message far and wide. Messages focus on ENERGY – how to make sure consumers are getting the best deal and understand how to get support with their energy costs – and ways of SAVING energy to keep bills down.
We would like thank all those consumers who told us of their experiences and passed on their own energy saving tips a selection of which are listed below.
New figures show that almost of half (48 per cent) of the people in the South East are worried about the effect that rising household bills will have on their finances over the next year and 44 per cent will have to cut their spending to cope. The Big Energy Saving Week campaign will help people avoid making other cutbacks.
Of those who plan on cutting their spending:
Of those concerned about paying their fuel bill:
In 2013, 200,000 people got online advice about energy bills from Citizens Advice. Between October 2012 and September 2013, Citizens Advice Bureaux in the South East dealt with 8,864 fuel debt problems.
A survey for Big Energy Saving Week highlights that 1 in 5 in the South East had spoken to their energy supplier to check that they were getting the best deal for them, 17 per cent had insulated their homes and as few as 10 per cent had switched to a cheaper way to pay.
The survey also found that people in the South East are trying to cut their energy costs by turning down the heating (46 per cent of people) or using less electricity (46 per cent of people). Twelve per cent are using fewer rooms in their home.
Around a million people switched supplier in November and December, 230,000 of which moved to a smaller independent supplier. This goes to show that if customers aren’t happy with the deal they are getting, it’s easy to shop around and find one that suits better.
Big Energy Saving Week is an example of working together to help consumers make the most of their energy use, take control of their bills and access all the help available to them if times get tough.
To help people take control of their bills Citizens Advice has released ten top tips to help you check, switch and insulate.
Consumers can also help themselves by making sure they are energy savvy and making the best use of the energy they use. There are many ways to cut your energy use from fitting new boilers, double glazing or improving your insulation and to smaller things like closing the curtains when it gets dark and not leaving the telly or other electrical appliances on standby. If in any doubt call the Home Heat Helpline on 0800 33 66 99 – trained and independent advisors can offer advice and information. Consumers can also get help and advice online at www.bigenergysavingweek.org.uk,