North Tyneside Citizens Advice’s tips on minimising your energy use
With the coming rise in the energy price cap, North Tyneside Citizens Advice are sharing our tips on what steps people can take to save money and what support is available to anyone who is struggling.
Is there anything I can do to save money on energy?
There are some simple things you can do to save some money on your energy bills. They won’t cover all the extra costs, but they can make a difference:
- Check your thermostat: Turning your thermostat down by just one degree can save you around £65 a year. Only lower it to a temperature you feel comfortable at – as a guide, many people find this is between 18-21 degrees.
- Keep the heat in: Check your home for any gaps in the doors, windows and floors. Blocking any holes where you could get a draught could save you around £30 a year. If you’re renting, ask your landlord to ensure your home has good insulation.
- Turn off anything you’re not using: Turning your appliances, like TVs and washing machines, off instead of leaving them on standby could save around £40 a year. Turning off lights when you’re not using them – even if it’s just off for a few seconds – could save £14 a year. Consider using LED lightbulbs, which cost less to run.
- Watch your water usage: Cutting your shower time by just one minute can make a difference. If everyone in a four-person household with a water meter did this, you could save £45 a year.
- Use your tumble dryer less, if you have one – try to dry your clothes outside or by an open window instead
- Run your washing machine at 30 degrees and make sure you wash a full load when you can
- Close your curtains in the evening to keep in heat when it’s cold
- Make sure your fridge is set between 3 and 5 degrees and defrost your freezer regularly
For more tips on saving energy, visit the Energy Saving Trust website.
What support can I get?
If you’re struggling to afford your energy bills, you might be able to get support from the government or your energy supplier. The first step is to call your supplier and ask them if they offer any grants to help with your energy bills.
You may be eligible for these benefits:
- Warm Home Discount: This gives you £140 off your electricity bill if you’re on a low income. If you get the guaranteed element of pension credit, you should get the discount automatically. Check with your supplier to see if they offer the Warm Home Discount because not all of them do.
- Winter Fuel Payment: This is an annual one-off payment to help you pay for heating during the winter. You can usually get a Winter Fuel Payment if you were born on or before 26 September 1955. If you’re eligible, you should get this automatically. However, if you haven’t been receiving it you can contact the Winter Fuel Payment Centre (Telephone: 0800 731 0160 / Textphone: 0800 731 0176)
- Crisis Support Fund: North Tyneside council might give you vouchers to help pay for day-to-day essentials. Contact the council for further advice.
If you have any questions about what help you can claim or how to manage your money, please contact us.