3 things you need to know about energy this #EnergySavingWeek.

Rising energy bills are at the front of everyone’s minds. But how can you be more energy efficient and save money? And what support might you be entitled to for rising energy bills?

Here’s 3 things you need to know this #EnergySavingWeek…

1. How to save energy around your home

There are lots of quick and easy ways to save energy and money around your home.

  • Turning your appliances off standby could save you £65 a year
  • Draught proofing and blocking cracks around your home could save you up to £125 a year
  • Turning off lights when you leave a room could save you £25 a year
  • Washing your clothes at 30 degrees and doing one less machine run a week could save you around £34 a year
  • Ditching the tumble dryer and drying your clothes on racks in a well-ventilated room or outside in warmer weather could save you £70 a year
  • Reducing your shower time to 4 minutes can save you £95 a year
  • Swapping one bath a week with a 4 minute shower can save you £20 a year
  • Avoiding overfilling the kettle could save you £13 a year
  • Running your dishwasher one time less per week could save you £17 a year

*England, Scotland and Wales savings are for a typical three-bedroom, gas-heated home in Great Britain, using a gas price of 10.3p/kWh and electricity price of 34.0p/kWh (based on Energy Price Guarantee October 2022). Water savings are based on average occupancy.

For more tips, including tips tailored to your home, visit Energy Saving Trust.

We also have lots of advice on ways you can heat your home more efficiently.

2. Getting support if you use a prepayment meter to pay for your energy

Energy Bills Support Scheme

If you use a prepayment meter to pay for your energy you’re still entitled to the Energy Bills Support Scheme, a £400 discount on your energy bills.

If you have a smart prepayment meter, you’ll get the discount automatically.

If you have a traditional prepayment meter (where you top up at a shop or Post Office) you’ll get the £400 in vouchers. These vouchers will be paid in 6 instalments over 6 months from October 2022 until March 2023. You’ll get the vouchers by text, post or email by the 11th working day of each month (around the 17th). If you don’t receive the vouchers you should contact your supplier as soon as possible.

The vouchers must be redeemed within 3 months or they’ll expire and you won’t be able to get the money added to your meter.

Can’t afford to top up your meter

If you can’t afford to top up your meter, there is support available.

You energy supplier might give you temporary credit — they might add this automatically or you might have to ask for it. If you run out of temporary credit, speak to your supplier as they might be able to give you more credit if they consider you to be vulnerable, for example if you have a long term health condition. You will have to pay back any temporary credit.

You might also be able to get a fuel voucher which is a code given to you in a letter, text or email that you can then redeem at a top up point.

Find out more here.

3. Support available to help with your energy bill

If you owe money to your energy supplier, you should speak to them about setting up a payment plan. They have to take into account what you can afford to pay.

There are also grants and benefits available if you’re struggling to pay:

  • Energy Bills Support Scheme — a £400 discount given to every household
  • Warm Home Discount — a £150 discount if you get certain benefits
  • Fuel vouchers — if you can’t afford to top up your prepayment meter
  • Cold weather payments — 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

Find out more information on the support available here.

Citizens Advice Watford is here to help you. Whether you’re struggling with your energy bills or you need help on something else — we can help you find a way forward.

We work with Energy Saving Trust, an independent organisation working to address the climate emergency. They have loads of tips here to help you save money and energy. Check out Energy Saving Trust’s quick tips to save energy and warm home hacks to help you save money and stay warm this winter.

Blog by Emily Nix, Citizens Advice