Angus MacDonald MSP Welcomes Big Energy Savings Week 2014


This week marks the third Big Energy Savings Week (BESW) – a national campaign to help people cut their fuel bills and get all the financial support they are entitled to. The campaign encourages energy consumers to ‘check – switch – insulate’ to save themselves money, and to approach their local Citizens Advice Bureau for help in doing so.

The campaign is a collaboration between Citizens Advice Scotland, Scottish citizens advice bureaux, Citizens Advice (England & Wales), the Energy Saving Trust, Government, energy suppliers and other voluntary and charitable organisations.

Energy is a huge issue for Scottish consumers – an estimated 27% of the Scottish population are affected by fuel poverty, and calls to the Citizens Advice consumer service helpline doubled recently, following the announcement of energy price rises. BESW provides timely help to citizens across Scotland to access cheaper energy, get support when they need it, and save money and energy where possible.

Angus MacDonald MSP welcomed the promotion saying:

“Household energy bills have more than doubled in the last nine years and a third of Scots struggle to afford their electricity and gas bills. Anything that can be done to highlight help available to consumers is to be commended.

“Up to £20billion in benefits went unclaimed in the UK in 2011 - That’s enough money to pay the fuel bills of nearly sixteen million homes. So I would advise people to make sure they are getting all the benefits they are entitled to.

“It could also be worth changing supplier as many people stay on the same tariff or with the same energy supplier for years, without realising they could be getting a better deal elsewhere. They could be saving up to £200 a year, particularly if they have never switched before.”

The Energy Saving Trust estimates that the average home in the UK wasted £280 last year, simply by not being energy efficient.

The key messages to consumers is Check – Switch – Insulate

 Check - contact your energy supplier to check you are on the best tariff and payment method for your circumstances, or if they can offer you any discounts to cut your bills.

Switch - visit an accredited switching website to see if you could get your energy cheaper elsewhere. Shopping around for your energy supplier could save you as much as £200 if you have never switched before. If you use heating oil as your main fuel, see if there are any local oil buying clubs you can join. If not, you might want to start your own.

Insulate - If you’re worried about how much money you’re spending to heat and light your home, or just want to spend less, there are some simple steps you can take to make your home more energy efficient.

Keep in the heat by insulating the cavity walls and the loft of your home – you could save up to £320 per year. Most suppliers are giving away free or discounted insulation and other energy efficiency measures so ask if you’re eligible.

You can get more information from:

 www.cas.org.uk/bigenergysavingweek

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dA7OFZCr45c

Copyright © Angus MacDonald MSP 2017

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