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Reduce your bills in 2020

Big Energy Saving Week starts on Monday 20th January 2020. 

It’s a perfect opportunity to find out how to save money on your energy bills and reduce the amount of carbon your household produces.

The campaign is a nationwide initiative run by Citizens Advice. It’s aim is to help people cut their energy bills and receive all the financial support they’re entitled to.

BHESCo has partnered with Citizens Advice and will be holding an energy saving workshop in a different location on every day of Big Energy Saving Week (see the timetable below).

Date Location Time
Mon 20th Jan
Hove Town Hall
9.30am - 11am
Tues 21st Jan
Hove Job Centre
9am - 11am
Weds 22nd Jan
Real Junk Food Project
St Johns the Baptist Church
1pm - 3pm
Thurs 23 Jan
Brighton Open Market
12pm - 2pm
Fri 24th Jan
Real Junk Food Project
One Church
1pm - 3pm

How Can BHESCo Help?

  BHESCo energy advisers running an energy desk at Legal and General, 2017

If you come along to one of our Big Energy Saving Week events, we can offer help and advice on a wide range of energy related questions. 

Below take a look at some of the most frequent questions we are asked. We’d love to see you at one of our events where we can give advice tailored to your own particular circumstances.

What advice can you give to people who are looking to reduce their bills this winter?

Review your tariff every year and switch if necessary.

Around 70% of residents in the UK are on a ‘Standard Tariff’ with their supplier, which is typically the most expensive. Most of the big companies like British Gas, EDF, SSE, etc have over 300 tariffs and its important to make sure that you are on the best one.

At the very least it’s important to call your supplier once a year and make sure you are on their cheapest tariff.

For bigger savings, it’s worth using an online price comparison website such as uSwitch to see if there is a cheaper company to change to. Typically, annual savings for a 3-bed house will be around £280.

Green energy is obviously better for the environment, but can it save customers money?

Renewable energy is the cheapest form of energy, and most of the cheapest tariffs available right now are from green energy suppliers such as Bulb, Octopus, and Green Network Energy.

Aside from the financial benefits, there is also a definite peace of mind to be had when you know that the electricity in your house is coming from clean, renewable sources such as wind and solar power.

How easy is it to make the switch?

Switching is as easy as ordering anything else from the Internet.

You choose the tariff you want, submit your name, address and bank details, and your new supplier will take care of everything for you.

After 3 – 4 weeks you will be asked to provide an opening meter reading, and then that’s it. Cheaper gas and electricity for a least 12 months.

For those who do not have access to the Internet or find it challenging to use, you can request a switch over the telephone just as easily.

What financial help is available for elderly and vulnerable people who are struggling to pay their energy bills?

Anyone who receives the Guaranteed Element of Pension Credit will be automatically eligible for the Warm Home Discount. This is a credit payment of £140 that customers can receive from their energy supplier.

For those who do not receive pension credit, they may still be eligible for the Warm Home Discount provided they meet certain income criteria. You can find out more and apply by contacting your supplier.

Anybody who is over the age of 65 will receive the Winter Fuel Payment. This is a payment of £200 which is paid by the Department for Works and Pensions, and is paid directly to a customer’s bank account. Those over 80 years old receive £300.

Do you have any other tips to help keep the house warm over the colder months?

Aside from switching tariff, reducing the amount of energy you are using will obviously reduce your household energy bills. Quick wins include closing your curtains when it gets dark, setting your thermostat to 18oC, and turning off the heating in empty rooms.

You can further improve home energy efficiency by installing affordable but effective measures such as energy saving LED lights, radiator reflector foil, and draught excluders. All of these are available from retailers such as B&Q or Robert Dyas.

For homeowners who can afford to make more significant improvements to their property, adding measures such as loft and wall insulation will deliver immediate and substantial benefits. Not only will your home feel much warmer and comfortable, you will also see a big fall in the cost of your monthly fuel bills. Typical payback time for new loft insulation is as little as 2 years.

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