Tips to trim your energy bills and get the support you need

Date:

A local expert from Citizen’s Advice provides timely tips on consumer issues.

Q: ‘As winter is approaching I am getting more and more worried about my energy bills. What can I do to try to keep them down?’

A: Small changes can make a big difference when it comes to saving energy. Citizens Advice has teamed up with Energy Saving Trust to share advice on getting help if you are struggling with energy bills and tips on how to cut energy costs around the home – not just this winter but as permanent money savers:
Washing clothes at 30°C could save around £15 per year. Reducing the number of wash cycles you do by one per week could save a further £15 off your annual bill.
Reducing shower time to four minutes could save a typical household as much as £75 a year (and why not switch off the shower while you are soaping up?).
Putting only the water you need in the kettle could save around £12 a year on electricity.
Draught-proofing windows and doors will help your home feel warmer and could save around £50 a year on bills.
Turning appliances off at the wall/plug when you’re not using them could save an average of £60 a year.
Turning the thermostat down by 1°C could save around £115 a year.

Finding more help
However, lifestyle changes won’t be possible for everyone – and will not be enough to cover the hole in many household budgets caused by higher prices, so do check you’re getting all the support you’re entitled to.
This could include:
Checking what benefits are available to you by using a calculator such as the one on entitledto.co.uk
The Warm Home Discount – £150 annually off your bill if you get certain means-tested benefits
Cold weather payments — you’ll receive these payments if you get certain benefits and the weather is extremely cold
Grants from your energy supplier — to help you pay off debts you may owe
Household Support Fund is available to households across Dorset who meet the specific criteria.
If you are on a very low income you may also be eligible for charitable support. Contact your local CA office for details.

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