Hillcrest energy advice team offers tips to reduce energy bills
With household energy bills expected to rise even further in the autumn - to an average of £2,800 a year - Hillcrest’s Energy Advice Team (HEAT) has offered some advice on how to cut the cost of energy bills.
Coupled with the news that the inflation rate on everyday shopping has hit its highest point in over a decade, some families are facing the stark choice between heating and eating.
With energy prices earmarked to increase again in October, and Ofgem changing the review period from six to three months, potentially resulting in more frequent increases, there seems little prospect of financial respite for many households.
To counter the impact of continuing increases, the Hillcrest Energy Advice Team has revealed five simple actions you can take in your home to reduce your energy bill by up to £275 per year.
Energy adviser Euan Hird said: “We support hundreds of Hillcrest households across Scotland each year and we’ve seen first-hand the devastation that rising bills can have, with people in some cases cut off from their energy supply altogether, and in other cases relying on foodbanks.
“These simple actions will save you considerable money on your energy bills, which can then be saved or better spent elsewhere.
“Firstly, turning down your thermostat by a single degree won’t make a noticeable difference to the temperature of your home, but it can save you £146 per year. The more you turn it down, the more you’ll save but don’t go below 18 degrees or you could begin to develop damp and condensation.
“Many devices such as games consoles and TVs will still use power even when on standby, so turn them off completely to save around £45 per year. Changing to LED lightbulbs throughout your home will save you a further £38 on average and doing one less wash per week with your washing machine or dishwasher will save you £13.
“Finally, ensuring your home is draught-proofed will stop cooler air coming in and will add a further £33 to your savings.”
Euan Hird added: “While each of these actions may seem modest, they all add up and are relatively easy to do, taking some of the chill out of increasingly steep energy bills.”
However, he noted that for a lot of households that are severely struggling with the increased cost of living, these savings might not be enough but that support is out there.
“If you find yourself in a difficult situation where household bills are unmanageable, don’t forget that there is plenty of help out there.
“Local energy advice teams can show you additional ways to reduce bills, liaise with energy companies on your behalf, help you find cheaper tariffs and help you access any available grants or funding.
“There will also be foodbanks and community larders never far away from you who are more than willing to help. Benefits advice teams such as Hillcrest’s own Tenancy Sustainment Service and the Citizen’s Advice Bureau can check your eligibility for a range of benefits and funds to ensure you are receiving all of the money you could be entitled to.”