Citizens Advice Mid Lincolnshire secured some funding from the Big Energy Saving Network to help consumers understand energy and make savings.

Their Energy Champions are on hand until 31st March 2020 to explain and provide information about understanding energy bills, switching energy supplier and finding energy cost saving measures.

Here are some things you can do yourself to reduce the cost of your energy this winter, but if you would like additional help please get in touch.

Shopping around can reduce your energy costs
You have a choice in who you buy your gas and electricity from.
You may save money by:
● moving to a cheaper deal/tariff with your current supplier
● switching to a new supplier
● Changing your payment method

Before you decide to switch
You should start by:
● checking which type of meter you are on
● finding out if your contract with your supplier has an ‘exit fee’ for leaving early – it’s usually on your bill
● looking at the tariffs offered by your current supplier

Finding the best deal
Use the Citizens Advice price comparison website
You’ll need:
● the name of your supplier and current tariffs
● how much energy you used in the past year
● how you currently pay for your energy (for example, prepayment meter or direct debit)
● your postcode

Other ways to compare tariffs from different suppliers
● Use an Ofgem accredited price comparison website
● Talk to your current energy supplier or look at their website
● Contact other energy suppliers to compare deals

How to switch tariff
If you decide to change tariff you’ll need to contact the supplier to arrange the switch.
This can be done:
● through a price comparison website
● by getting in touch with the supplier directly

If you’re moving to a new supplier they will let your existing supplier know.
How to switch supplier
Take a meter reading
● Take a meter reading on the day of the switch
● Give this reading to your new supplier – this means they won’t charge you for energy used before the switch

What if I’m in debt to my supplier?
If you use a prepayment meter
● If you owe less than £500 for each fuel you can still switch
● Your debt will transfer with you
If you don’t have a prepayment meter
● Your supplier can stop you switching until you’ve paid off your debt

Warm Home Discount Scheme
You might be able to get £140 off your electricity bill under the Warm Home Discount Scheme if you’re either:
● getting the guarantee credit part of Pension Credit
● on a low income

Check with your supplier to see if they offer the Warm Home Discount.
Priority Services Register
Offers extra services free of charge if you:
● are of pensionable age
● are disabled or chronically sick
● have a long-term medical condition
● have a hearing or visual impairment or additional communication needs
● are in a vulnerable situation

To be added to the Priority Services Register, you simply need to contact your energy supplier. You can find their contact details on your energy bill.
Energy Company Obligation
● Gives grants for efficient boilers and wall and cavity insulation
● Available to people receiving certain benefits
● If you’re not on certain benefits but on a low income or have a health condition you may be able to get help under the ‘ECO local flexibility’ scheme which some local authorities have set up with fuel companies.

To speak to an Energy Champion at Citizens Advice Mid Lincolnshire e-mail, call 03444 111 444 or pop in and see them at Municipal Buildings, West Street, Boston PE21 8QR.