Date: 20/01/2020

This week is Big Energy Saving Week, a national campaign to help people cut their energy bills and get all the financial support they are entitled to.

We know running a home can be expensive, especially over winter, but are money advice team are here to help. The team have put together a list of ways to help save money on your energy bills and some financial support you may be entitled to. 

Mick Brownsword, Money Adviser at Staffs Housing, says: "There are many things you can do to help save energy and money in your home that are often very simple. These all add up to make a big difference. 

"At this time of year, the cost of heating your home can be high. By keeping your radiators clear - not putting any sofas or furniture in front - having thermal curtains and closing them at dusk, using draught excluders for doors and using letterbox and key hole covers to keep the heat in, can all help maximise your heating."

Mick also has some tips for saving on the cost of energy for cooking and cleaning: "Only fill the kettle with as much water as you need, put a lid on your pan while cooking and use a microwave instead of an oven, where possible.

"When you're putting the washing machine on, make sure it's a full load and use an eco setting if you have one. If you use a tumble drier, keep the filters clean and using an eco ball will make gaps in the washing, allowing the heat to move more freely and the clothes dry quicker."

As well as cutting down on the amount of energy you use, switching energy provider can also save you money. Mick recommends using two or more comparison websites when looking for better deals: "We recently helped a tenant. One comparison site found them a deal £1.42 a year cheaper and another was £233 a year cheaper." 

If you're on a low income or certain benefits, there are schemes and benefits available to help towards the cost of your energy bills. 

If you were born on or before 5 April 1954, you could get between £100 and £300 to help you pay your heating bills with the Winter Fuel Payment. You'll need to get the State Pension or another social security benefit to qualify. 

You could get £140 off your electricity bill under the Warm Home Discount Scheme if you get pension credits or on a low income and get certain benefits. This payment isn't made to you, but is taken off your bill by your supplier. Mick says: "Apply as soon as possible as some energy suppliers have stopped taking applications for this winter's payment"

The Cold Weather Payment is an automatic payment of £25 per day for those who are eligible if the temperature goes under zero degrees for 7 days in a row. 

Our money advice team are on hand if you have any questions about these financial support schemes, or if you need advice around making the most of your money and debt worries. 

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