Rising energy bills are one of the biggest concerns every winter
but what can you do to save money?

The Big Energy Saving Network (BESN)  Autumn/Winter 2020-2021 Is Now Closed

BESN is delivering an extensive FREE programme of support to households focused on helping to reduce energy costs on tariffs, switching and the take up of energy efficiency offers.

Through last year’s campaign:

  • £290 saved on average by households who switched to a new deal
  • £140 average saving through applying for energy schemes

We can help you with:

  • Switching supplier/getting a new deal
  • Switching payment method
  • Checking eligibility/accessing the Warm Home Discount
  • Priority Service Registration
  • Energy efficiency grant eligibility
  • Energy efficiency tips

What support are we offering?

This year BESN will be delivered in a Covid safe way following the latest government guidelines.

  • Online Zoom events with community groups and follow up 1-1 telephone/face to face (where possible)
  • A telephone appointment
  • An online appointment
  • A face to face appointment (if this is safe to do so)

How can you access our support?

Telephone or email our experienced advisor to arrange the best support for you or your group.

Contact Janet Clark via email at janet.clark@lincsymca.co.uk or call 01529 301962.

Save and Warm – Check, Switch, Insulate, Reduce

  • Check if there is a better way to pay your bills. Direct debit remains the cheapest way to pay. You may also get a discount for managing your account online but remember to check your bill when it arrives.  Not sure how to read and understand your energy bill? Watch the YouTube video on the right hand side of this webpage.
  • Check that you are getting all you are entitled to. If you are not keeping warm and struggling to pay your energy bills you may be entitled to help from your energy supplier or additional benefits.
  • Switch off appliances not in use and save ££s. The average UK household is spending between £45 and £80 each year leaving appliances on standby, so turn them off when not in use.
  • Switch energy supplier or tariff, make sure you are not paying more than you have to for your energy. Are you getting the best deal? Are you on the cheapest tariff with your current supplier or is there a better deal with them or another company?
  • Insulate – make sure your home is fully insulated and draft proof. You may be entitled to help with this so give your energy company a call for the latest news on grant funding.
  • For further tips and advice please visit: https://www.simpleenergyadvice.org.uk/

How to switch energy supplier and shop for a better deal

Comparing energy tariffs and deals regularly can help you make sure you’re getting the best gas or electricity tariff for your usage and the best service offer. It can also highlight if you could cut your bills by switching supplier.

Shop for cheaper gas and electricity – it pays to shop around. Ofgem research finds comparing and switching supplier or energy tariff can make a big difference to your gas and electricity bills – with annual savings of around £300 available.  Even prepayment customers with a debt (up to £500) can switch suppliers.

Tools to help you compare gas and electricity tariffs – get to grips with the questions to ask suppliers, using comparison websites and the information you’ll need, visit Citizens Advice.

Switching gas or electricity supplier – to switch energy supplier you’ll need:

  • your postcode;
  • the name of your current supplier;
  • the name of the energy tariff you’re currently on and how much you spend on gas and electricity, this information is on a recent bill;
  • an up-to-date meter reading; and
  • your bank details (if you will be paying by direct debit).

How to switch energy supplier – for the key aspects of the switching process, visit Citizens Advice comparison site.

How long it takes to switch supplier – switching supplier can take up to 21 days (plus a 14 day ‘cooling-off period’). In most cases, it’s around 17 days. Your new supplier will confirm the date you’ll be switched.

If you change your mind – you’ll have 14 days to cancel a switch from the date you start a contract with a new supplier. This period is also referred to as a ‘cooling-off period’. After this timeframe, there may be a cost to exit the contract depending on your agreement.  You must contact your supplier to cancel any contract.

Get help – the Citizens Advice consumer helpline can offer help and advice at any time if you’re having problems switching.

keeping warm in Winter

Advice providers

Connect to Support Lincolnshire, free advice on money, benefits, health, education, work, legal and care in Lincolnshire: 0300 303 8789 or https://lincolnshire.connecttosupport.org

Citizens Advice Consumer Service and Consumer Helpline: 03454 04 05 06

Turn 2 Us (benefit checker): https://www.turn2us.org.uk/

Are you on a prepayment meter?  Did you know that from 1st April 2017 Ofgem have introduced the Safeguard Tariff?

The Safegard Tariff means that the amount of money a supplier can charge you as a domestic prepayment meter customer will be subject to a transitional price cap.

For more information and a helpful video, visit the Ofgem website.

Smart Meter Information

You may have seen or heard information about Smart Meters, on the television radio or in newspapers. The programme to install smart meters is well underway, more than 10 million households and over a million businesses have received their new meter.

A number of households are still unsure about  the benefits of this new technology technology, our Smart Meter webpage aims to provide information to help you make the right choice for you.

Further assistance

You could get £140 off your electricity or gas bill under the Warm Home Discount Scheme. The money isn’t paid to you – it’s a one-off discount between September and March. It provides direct and indirect financial support to vulnerable energy consumers and you may be able to get the discount. Contact your supplier to find out. The Warm Home Discount Scheme for winter 2017 to 2018 closed on 31 March 2018. The 2018 to 2019 scheme will start on 15 October 2018

Energy Company Obligation (ECO) – you could be eligible for support from an energy supplier, they provide services such as insulation and heating improvements, funding for wall and roof insulation measures to qualifying low-income and vulnerable households.

Priority Service Register – a range of free services provided by fuel suppliers and network operators for qualifying customers such as: people who are of pensionable age, households with children under 5, householders with a disability or chronic illness.  Contact your energy supplier (the company who you pay for your energy) and the network companies that distribute energy to your home to see if you’re eligible to sign up to their PSR.

  • Electricity is distributed by: Western Power Distribution in the south of Lincolnshire and Northern Powergrid in the north of Lincolnshire.  If you are in the centre of the county and are unsure, you can contact either company and they will point you in the right direction.
  • Gas is distributed by Cadent Gas.

Useful Websites

Comparing Costs and Switching Supplier

For information on how to save money by switching energy supplier visit the Citizens Advice website and look for the how to shop section.

For additional advice for comparing costs for those people using pre-pay meters have a look at the advice from MoneySavingExpert.

Struggling To Pay Your Energy Bills?

If you are struggling to pay your energy bill the Citizens Advice website can help. You can also use the website to find your local Citizens Advice Bureau which will also be able to help with debt advice.

Saving Money On Your Heating Oil

Did you know that Community Lincs arranges for people to get together to buy their heating oil in bulk? This allows for savings on the regular price, even if you order small quantities.