Help is on hand in Halton to cut your fuel bill
Residents in Halton can get help to cut their gas and electric bills by an average of £200.
Citizens Advice Halton is running Energy Best Deal sessions which help people understand how to compare energy prices, negotiate with providers and cut down how much energy they use.
Last year over 200 from across Halton learnt how to better manage their finances and find cheaper energy suppliers. People who took steps to cut their bills following the advice they received in the sessions could save an average of £200, with one person looking to save as much as £1,500.
Hitesh Patel at Citizens Advice Halton said:
“Many people in Halton are struggling financially and as well as helping deal with their debts we can also help people keep their homes warm and their bills affordable. Advisers are on hand across Halton to help people cut their gas and electricity costs by comparing prices and negotiating with their suppliers. Anyone wishing to attend an Energy Best Deal session or wanting help managing their finances should get in touch with us because it’s never too late to start saving money.
“As well as getting help from with your finances there is also help available to get improved insulation (loft and cavity wall) for homes without adequate insulation, boiler replacement for residents whose boiler is not working effectively, and new central heating for low income residents without central heating.”
Energy top tips
1. Make sure that you’re on the cheapest tariff. Check with your supplier and use an accredited switching website to see who’s offering the best deal. Citizens Advice runs a price comparison tool: https://energycompare.citizensadvice.org.uk
2. Check your bills carefully and send a meter reading to your supplier regularly. This will allow you to check how much energy you use and make sure you’re paying the right amount. Find out more about how to do this here: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/energy/energy-supply/your-energy-meter/how-to-read-your-energy-meter
3. Talk to your supplier if you think your bill is wrong or if you have problems paying. They’ll be able to give you advice about available support or talk you through repayment options.
4. If money is tight, contact your local Citizens Advice. They can check to see if you are getting the benefits you are entitled to, or if you can get help paying your bills.
5. Most energy suppliers offer fixed price tariffs, where the price of a unit of energy will stay the same for the length of the deal. These can work out cheaper in the long term and make it easier to budget – although you might need to pay by direct debit and your bills will still go up if you use more energy.
6. If you use a pre-payment meter, remember that standing charges will be added daily – even when you aren’t using energy. Check how much they are and keep your meter topped up even during warm weather to avoid unexpected charges
7. If you use heating oil as your main fuel, buy before winter and see if there are any local oil buying clubs you can join. If not, you might want to start your own.
8. Make your home energy efficient – insulate lofts and walls, double glaze or use thick curtains to keep the heat in, and get your boiler serviced or replaced to ensure it is energy efficient. There are schemes to help with this: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/scotland/consumer/energy/energy-supply/get-help-paying-your-bills/grants-and-schemes-to-help-you-save-money-on-energy-bills-s
9. Save money and energy – don’t leave appliances on standby or leave laptops and mobile phones on charge unnecessarily. Fix leaking taps and always turn off the light when you leave a room.
10. Do a home energy check to find out about savings on household energy bills: http://hec.est.org.uk