Energy savings week to be launched as regulator shows millions lost to higher tariffs
HOUSEHOLDS in Scotland missed out on £300m of savings between 2015 and 2016, according to new statistics released by the national regulator Ofgem.
The figures, which precede the Big Energy Saving Week, show that failing to switch from the higher tariff costs has left more than one million homes in Scotland on ‘Energy Autopilot’ with a greater vulnerability to fuel poverty.
According to a new Ipsos MORI survey from the Energy Saving Trust, almost 60 per cent of “non-switchers” believe they’re on the cheapest energy tariff available, however, only 30 per cent of all bill payers believe energy suppliers actively encourage customer loyalty.
“Scottish Citizens Advice bureaux will be hosting events in local communities throughout Big Energy Saving week, where people can learn how to save energy, insulate their homes and compare prices to minimise their bills.” Anne Lavery
Anne Lavery, acting chief executive of Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS), said: “Switching gas and electricity can help people cut their bills.
“Checking their current tariff and comparing prices regularly means people can spot the best new deals and switch to a supplier that gives them the best value for money.
“Scottish Citizens Advice bureaux will be hosting events in local communities throughout Big Energy Saving week, where people can learn how to save energy, insulate their homes and compare prices to minimise their bills. Those who can’t make an event or access the online tool can still get advice about saving money on their energy bills by contacting their local Citizens Advice Bureau for help.”
CAS currently are promoting an online price comparison tool where bill payers can access information on cheaper suppliers.
“This figure represents several hundred pounds per household, per year paid in unnecessarily high energy costs.” Dr Craig Dalzell
However, researchers have stated that the focus should be on the “unnecessarily high” energy costs that have left thousands of households in Scotland struggling with their cost of living.
Dr Craig Dalzell, a lead researcher with CommonWeal, said: “This figure represents several hundred pounds per household, per year paid in unnecessarily high energy costs.
“If the energy market is failing to this degree maybe it is time to reduce our reliance on it by adjusting energy policy to better promote renewable micro-generation, co-operative ownership of supply and, of course, reduced energy demand in the form of more stringent energy efficiency standards.”
Big Energy Saving Week, is a UK-wide campaign run between the Energy Saving Trust, Citizens Advice (CA), CAS and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Running from October 31 to November 6, events will be held throughout the UK to offer advice on reducing energy costs and help people keep their homes warm ahead of the winter.
Picture courtesy of Karen G
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