As people across Stroud and Cotswolds Districts face another winter of high energy bills, Citizens Advice shares how small changes can make a big difference when it comes to saving energy and lowering costs.
The charity has teamed up with the Energy Saving Trust to share advice on getting help if you are struggling with energy bills and tips on how to cut energy costs around the home.
People can make simple changes to save money on their energy bills and don’t need to wait until the colder months to do so. These include:
- Washing clothes at 30°C could save around £15 per year – and reducing the number of wash cycles by one per week could save a further £15
- Reducing shower time to four minutes could save a typical household as much as £75 a year
- Swapping one bath a week for a four-minute shower could save an average of £17 a year.
- Avoiding overfilling the kettle could save around £12 a year on electricity
- Draught-proofing windows and doors will help your home feel warmer and could save around £50 a year on bills.
- Turning appliances off at the wall/plug when you’re not using them could save an average of £60 a year.
- Turning the thermostat down by 1°C could save around £115 a year.
Installing a Smart Meter can help people get better control of their energy use and budgets. Smart meters come with an In-home Display Unit (IHD) that shows how much you’re using and its cost almost as you use it – in real time. The government has instructed all energy suppliers to offer households a smart meter by 2025. You don’t have to have one but may benefit from reduced tariffs with some suppliers. The government estimates that customers with smart meters save an average of £50 a year.
Check you’re getting all the support you’re entitled to…
Lifestyle changes won’t be possible for everyone and may not be enough to cover the hole in household budgets caused by higher prices, so Citizens Advice is also urging people to check they’re getting all the support they’re entitled to. This could include:
- Checking what benefits you’re entitled to by using a benefits calculator
- Warm Home Discount — a £150 annual discount if you get certain benefits
- Cold weather payments — payments if you get certain benefits and the weather is extremely cold
- Grants from your energy supplier — to help you pay off debts you may owe
For more information, visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk
If you owe money to your energy supplier, you should speak to them as soon as possible. They’re responsible for helping you find a way to pay your bills.
Elizabeth Hall, Chief Officer of Citizens Advice Stroud and Cotswold Districts, said:
“We know lots of people are worried about how they’ll cover their energy bills this winter. So it’s important people know what support they’re entitled to and how to cut back on energy costs where they can.
“Every day we hear from people who are already doing everything they can, but sky-high costs mean it’s simply not enough. We want to remind anyone struggling they’re not alone, if you need support managing your bills, please contact us.”
If you cannot access the website or need further help you can contact Citizens Advice Stroud and Cotswold Districts on 0808 800 0510 or 0808 800 0511 Monday to Thursday, or Email us using the form on our website
Citizens Advice Stroud & Cotswold Districts