A joint energy saving campaign run between the Citizens Advice Bureau, Energy Saving Trust and the DECC (Department of Energy and Climate Change) named the Big Energy Saving Week unsurprisingly confirmed that up to 74% of Brits surveyed are concerned about energy bills. The aim of the campaign is to help and advise householders so that they may better understand their energy usage, their energy bills and ultimately save money. Free advice is available to all via the internet, over the phone or in person at one of the many UK-wide energy events.
Philip Sellwood Speaks Out
The Chief Executive of the Energy Saving Trust, Philip Sellwood claims that it easy to see why so many are confused about heating controls and similar, as there are so many myths. Misuse of energy controls may cause a significant difference in heating costs and so part of the advice the Big Energy Saving Week is providing is focused on dispelling these myths. Overall experts are stating that the top advice has to be for homeowners to insulate their properties, be educated about the myths, check that they are on the best tariff for themselves and of course switch providers if cheaper.
While the majority of the help and advice is being offered to residential users as opposed to commercial ones, by and large the principals are the same as misusing heating controls and not fully understanding how best to use heating will increase bills regardless of the type of building involved.
The Research Shows…
Findings (Ispos MORI research) show that as many as 78% of UK residents believe they are using their heating controls properly and efficiently and yet half of Brits turn up their thermostat unnecessarily and misuse energy regularly. With 40% of users believing the myth that keeping your heating on constantly will save money and less than 25% of householders switching to take advantage of better prices last year it is clear that re-education will make a significant difference.
The campaign focuses on explaining away myths such as the futility of turning up the thermostat in cold weather being necessary when it should already be set at a comfortable temperature inside, and shows that the belief that hot water will run out if the tank isn’t constantly fed is also simply not true. Helping energy users obtain a clearer idea of how to use heating efficiently as well as understand the switching process, tariffs and prices better are primary concerns for the experts involved.
The DECC’s secretary Ed Davey applauds government actions which have already made switching a lot easier for all customers and hopes that by the end of the year that a complete energy provider switch will take no more than two and a half weeks. This will further encourage people to change, enabling them to take advantage of better pricings, saving money and for some cutting or even eliminating energy bill debt. The campaign also looks to providing advice and support to those more vulnerable community members who might find understanding energy controls and billing more difficult.
The campaign looks set to help a number of people, with over a million pounds being invested in the initiative. Both residential energy users as well as businesses will largely agree that there is a need for a simpler way to supply and bill energy users and that re-educating people and dispelling myths is and should be the first proactive and positive step in the process.