Smith backs campaign to cut energy bills in home

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Sir Robert Smith, MP for Aberdeenshire West and Kincardine, has highlighted Citizen Advice’s campaign to help people cut their fuel bills.

Speaking at the launch in Westminster Sir Robert said: “Rising fuel bills are stretching household finances and people are looking for ways to save money on their energy bills. I commend Citizen’s Advice for providing the support and advice that people need to help cut their fuel bills.”

During Big Energy Week anyone can get practical advice on cutting their fuel bills and get help to see if they are getting all of the financial support they are entitled to. Leaflets with tips and advice on reducing bills are available at local Citizens Advice Bureaux.

There is also a new website – www.bigenergyweek.org.uk – which is full of tips on how to cut energy bills.

Citizens Advice, Chief Executive, Gillian Guy said: “We know hikes in prices have put extra pressure on people’s budgets at a time when money is already tight. Day in day out our Bureaux are helping people who can’t afford their fuel bills.

“We’re worried that some people are struggling unnecessarily because they’re not on the best deal; live in homes that haemorrhage heat or are not getting all of the financial help available to them.”

Big Energy Week is helping people save money on their bills by encouraging them to:

Contact their supplier to check they are you are on the best tariff and payment method. Monthly direct debit is on average £100 cheaper per year than paying by cash or cheque.

Visit an accredited switching website to see if they could get their energy cheaper elsewhere. They may be able to save up to £200 off their annual bill by shopping around for a different supplier, particularly if they have never changed energy firm.

Insulate the walls and the loft of their home and save on average around £120 per year. All major gas and electricity suppliers are giving away free or discounted insulation to any household, not just their own customers. That goes for heating oil customers too.

Check they are not missing out on any benefits or tax credits that could save them money; local Citizens Advice Bureaux can help with this.

Using less energy could save money, just by doing simple things like turning off lights and switching appliances off at the wall. Turning the thermostat down 1°C alone could cut heating bills by £60 on average.

In the event that they are unable to pay their bills they should contact their energy supplier immediately. Suppliers are obliged to help customers manage their bills in a way that they can afford.

Customers who are using heating oil or liquid petroleum gas to heat their home should shop around and compare prices from different oil suppliers. They could also save money by buying in bulk with their neighbours.