January is traditionally a tough month when it comes to energy bills, with many people across the UK having to make difficult choices about whether they can afford to heat their homes. If you are struggling with energy-related issues, then Big Energy Saving Week 2020 highlights ways to overcome those difficulties.
Energy Saving Trust and Citizens Advice Bureau have produced a series of energy-saving actions to reduce the amount of energy you use and lower your bills as a result. Using less energy is a win win, as it brings down bills and reduces our impact on the planet by using less resource.
Big Energy Saving Week is a national campaign funded by the UK and devolved Scottish and Welsh governments. As part of the campaign, events organised by Citizens Advice Bureaux are taking place up and down the country. These include stalls at local town halls, supermarkets and community hubs to reach people who are not aware of the support available and working with local charities to deliver outreach advice surgeries.
In 2018-19, Citizens Advice Bureaux and the Extra Help Unit delivered £1.3 million in savings to people who came to the network with energy-related issues and an average saving of £232 per case. Energy Saving Trust helped thousands of householders through Home Energy Scotland, Nest and other government-funded programmes.
Accessing energy saving advice
The best way to find out how to reduce your energy use is to get some specialist energy saving advice. Energy Saving Trust has general information on home energy efficiency, or you can try the Simple Energy Advice website, or call 0800 444 2020.
If you live in Scotland, you can access advice and information through Home Energy Scotland’s network of local advice centres, which can be contacted on 0808 808 2282.
In Wales, there’s energy saving advice available through Nest/Nyth, who can be contacted on 0808 808 2244.
You can also contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau, which can provide free, confidential and impartial advice to help you make changes to your energy use that could lead to significant savings.
Citizens Advice Scotland
Citizens Advice Bureau and Energy Saving Trust lead the Big Energy Saving Week 2020 campaign in England and Wales, with Citizens Advice Scotland and Home Energy Scotland in charge north of the border, more information is available at www.cas.org.uk/BESW2020.
This year the Big Energy Saving Week Scotland campaign is targeting four key groups of people:
- those who use electric heating
- those in debt to their fuel suppliers
- those who have homes which are hard to heat
- those who are digitally excluded and, for example, cannot access online-only deals
Mike Thornton, director of operations at Energy Saving Trust, which delivers the Home Energy Scotland programme on behalf of Scottish Government, said: “We’re working in partnership with Citizens Advice Bureaux across Scotland to ensure as many people as possible can access free and impartial support throughout Big Energy Saving Week.
“Our Home Energy Scotland outreach teams will be in communities delivering money and energy-saving advice and the Home Energy Scotland network of advice centres is just a free phone call away. They can tell people how to access Scottish Government funding, how to reduce energy bills and how to keep homes warmer for less.’