There may be ways you can reduce your household bills to help you ease the strain of these financially challenging times. There are some simple steps you can take to reduce your energy consumption such as:
- Turn your heating off when you are not at home
- Contact Nest Wales. This is the Welsh Government's fuel poverty scheme. It aims to help reduce the number of households in fuel poverty and make Welsh homes warmer and more fuel-efficient places to live.
- Make sure your central heating is in good working order.
- Switch off lights when you leave the room
- Use energy saving light bulbs
- Turn off electrical equipment such as TVs and PCs, rather than leaving them on standby
- Have showers instead of baths
- Change your energy supplier/think about combining your bills
- Recycle more
- When buying kitchen appliances its worth looking into getting an 'A' grade one. It may be more expensive to buy but will use less electricity, which should make it cheaper in the long run.
For information and advice on reducing your household bills check out the Energy Saving Trust website.
Cutting energy fuel costs
There are lots of ways you can reduce your home energy bills, by simply using less power (switching off lights and unused appliances) and using less gas (turn down thermostat and draw curtains, etc). But there are also lots of grants and advice available to improve the energy efficiency of your home, including help towards the cost of loft and cavity wall insulation, new heating systems and draught proofing.
For information on making your home energy efficient and to find out what grants are available go to the Energy Saving Trust website.
Home Heat helpline offer advice for people worried about paying heating bills or need some easy to understand advice on how to save energy.
Consumer Direct offers advice if you are struggling to pay your fuel bills, or are in debt with a fuel supplier.
If you are struggling to pay your fuel bills, contact your energy suppliers in the first instance. Most offer reduced tariffs for low-paid or vulnerable people and some suppliers will also provide energy-saving bulbs.
Energy Best Deal Scheme
Ofgem and Citizens Advice have been working together since 2008 developing and delivering face-to-face consumer advice through the Energy Best Deal scheme. The scheme has proven to be a real success in helping consumers with advice.
They have produced a series of seven short films covering the scheme's key messages - how you can reduce your energy costs and what help is available from both suppliers and Government if you are struggling to pay your energy bills.
Claiming your winter fuel payments
If you are already in receipt of a state pension or other welfare benefit paid by the Department for Work and Pensions, you will automatically receive the payment. If not, you will need to make a claim. For more information call the winter fuel payment helpline 08459 151 515 or visit DirectGov.
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