I’ve recently lost my job and am struggling to pay the bills. I live with my elderly mother so don’t want to cut back on heating because it could be bad for her health. Is there any help?
There are lots of things you can do to cut your heating bill including checking you are getting all of the help you and your mother are entitled to. Under the Warm Home Discount scheme energy suppliers offer extra help for people on low incomes. If you are eligible you could get a £130 rebate on your electricity bill for winter 2012/13. Plus pensioners can get a Winter Fuel Payment of £100-£300. And if your mother gets pension credit or other eligible benefits you could get a £25 payment if the temperature where you live drops to an average of 0deg C or lower for seven days.
You might be able to get a better deal with a new supplier, particularly if you have never switched before – saving you as much as £200 or more by shopping around, visit an accredited switching website to compare prices.
Insulating the loft and cavity walls of your home is a great way to save money on your heating bills. You could save up to £160 per year if you do both. Most major energy suppliers are also offering this free or at a reduced price.
There are also lots of small things you can do for free or at low cost around the home to save money on your energy bills. You can find out more by calling the Energy Saving Trust on 0300 123 1234 or fill out an online home energy check http://hec.est.org.uk/
Find out more about getting extra help on your energy bills from you local Citizens Advice Bureau during Big Energy Saving Week or visit www.bigenergysavingweek.org.uk
For more information see the CAB website www.adviceguide.org.uk. You can find your local branch of the Central and South Sussex Citizens Advice Bureau on the web at www.centralandsouthsussexcab.org.uk and our phone number is 0844 4771171. The CAB has an advice centre in Horsham.