The one day course covered issues of fuel poverty and health implications, heating and hot water appliances and controls and how they work. Residents also took part in various exercises, like reading energy bills which can be very confusing to some of us. They also talked about the best, cheapest and most efficient ways to pay for energy bills.
1. Lighting and appliances consumption has doubled in the last 30 years due to the rise in the use of gadgets. Heating takes up 57% of total bills, followed by hot water (25%), and lighting and appliances, which make up 15% of an average home energy bill.
2. On average, leaving appliances on standby will increase your bills by £25 per year.
3. Most electric heaters and fans consume on average 3kiloWatts of energy per hour (kWh). One kWh cost on average 14 pence.
4. Open coal fires lose 60% of their heat which goes straight up the chimney. More efficient are closed solid fuel room heaters which retain 60-65 percent of heat in the room.
5. If you have a gas radiant/convector fire, we are pleased to let you know that these types of heaters are the most efficient. 75-80 percent of generated heat stays in the rooms. Plus one kWh of gas cost only 4 pence!
6. Direct Debit and online accounts are the cheapest way to pay for fuel. With exactly the same usage, a family of four paying by quarterly credits will pay on average £1265; if they use Direct Debit or an online account, the cost of the bill would reduce to average £850. That’s a saving of £400 per year!
During the course residents also picked up some interesting information regarding available help and funds. Did you know that each utility company has its own version of the Priority Service Register? If you are a resident of pensionable age, disabled or chronically sick, or having hearing or vision problems, you may apply to register on the Priority Service Register with your supplier.
The service will ensure that:
* Bills and leaflets are printed in large print and Braille
* If requested, you may receive ‘talking bills’
* You will be able to use a password when a utility company contacts you
* You will receive a free annual gas safety check
* You will not be disconnected from services during winter, even if you have outstanding unpaid bills
* You may also get special controls and adaptors installed free of charge.
In addition, a number of trusts and funds provide the following help to their customers:
British Gas Energy Trust
They offer one-off payments for household bills/energy arrears or essential appliances if they need replacing
Also, British Gas customers can get free insulation for their homes.
EDF Energy Trust
Further Assistance Payments - grants to clear other essential household debts or costs.
E.on Caring Energy Fund
E.on has recently changed their policies regarding grants and funds, but they are still available via local partners, councils, charities and other organisations.
Npower Energy Fund
They offer grants to clear gas and/or electricity arrears and grants for other essential costs (household debts or needs) through Further Assistance Payments.
There are more types of help available, so please check out your supplier’s website to find out what help they have on offer.
1. Electric showers are one of the most expensive appliances. They tend to use 10 kWh!
2. We can split all appliances into three groups based on their energy consumption.
Group 1 – things that heat up are the most costly
Electric showers, tumble dryers, washing machines, irons, hairdryers, and hair straighteners to name a few.
Group 2 – things that move are moderate ‘users’
Hoovers, microwaves, small kitchen appliances
Group 3 – modern items are low energy ‘users’
Computers, laptops, TVs, mobile phones, radios, chargers
For more information about energy saving and for various tips and newsletters, please visit: www.circleenergy.co.uk
Check out your supplier’s website for other information, including payment methods and available grants.
If you have your own tips on how to save energy, or how to save on energy bills, please contact us via our www.circleenergy.co.uk website.
Benefit changes are coming in April 2013
Are you aware what benefits you are entitled to?
Click house exchange website for details of how you can join the scheme and exchange your home.