Why Coronavirus has put pressure on people's energy costs in Brighton and Hove

The Coronavirus lockdown has meant that everyone is spending much more time at home. Whilst this has meant savings on travel costs, it can also led to much higher energy bills as people are using much more heat and electricity at home than they normally would be.

Thankfully, help has been at hand throughout lockdown thanks to a partnership between Brighton and Hove City Council and several not-for-profit organisations including Brighton & Hove Energy Services Co-operative (BHESCo) and Citizens Advice.

Providing vital support by telephone to help people stay connected

Since social distancing measures came into force, the partnership has provided free telephone support for hundreds of local residents, helping people to switch to a cheaper energy supplier and pay down fuel existing debts. It is estimated that this advice has helped local billpayers to save £5,092 collectively since March.

To help customers who have prepayment meters, the partnership have established an Emergency Fuel Voucher Scheme, funded by local supplier Your Energy Sussex. To date they have issued over £3,000 in emergency vouchers. This is available to local residents who are on a prepayment meter and who are at risk of disconnection due to high costs and reduced or low income.

Dan Curtis, an energy adviser with BHESCo, said

“We expected to be busy as lockdown has forced people to run up much higher energy bills than they normally would for this time of year. In many cases our intervention has enabled people to keep their gas and electric on when they might otherwise have gone without”.

Anyone needing help with their energy costs can call BHESCo on 0800 999 6671 or email info@bhesco.co.uk

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