Cut energy bills
/ Cut energy bills
Gas and electricity bills are now the biggest monthly outgoing for many households. That's why Siobhain is calling for energy companies to be forced by law to guarantee that elderly customers get the cheapest tariff for their gas and electricity.
Although competition is in theory good for consumers, the wide variety of complicated tariffs - many of which are only available online - it's estimated that 80% of people are still overpaying for their gas and electricity. As the people who are least likely to get a deal online are the elderly, Siobhain wants all energy companies to automatically put households on the cheapest tariff if the people living there are 75 or more.
Siobhain says this is an issue of delivering fairness in these tough times, and is urging people to sign up to the campaign. The Government have so far refused to change the rules, but Siobhain hopes that public pressure can make a difference.
And of course, Siobhain is backing Ed Miliband's plan to freeze fuel bills under a Labour Government.
You can sign up to the campaign below - but in the mean time Siobhain says there are a few things you can do to reduce your bills.
The Big London Energy Switch
If you think you might be paying too much for your gas or electricity, Merton Council is supporting a scheme to help residents get a better deal. The Big London Energy Switch works by gathering together people from across London who want to cheaper bills. Once enough people register, energy companies will be invited to offer deals to all those who register. Whoever offers the cheapest tariff gets to offer you a new contract, and once you have seen how much money you can save you will be able to decide whether to accept the offer or not.
Savings depend on how much energy you use and on your current tariff - if you’ve recently switched you may be on the best value tariff already. But there is no obligation to accept the offer. A similar scheme has seen yearly savings of £60 to £200 per household, so there is nothing to lose. You can register directly here. And hurry – you have to register by 8 April to take advantage!
Free Replacement Boilers
In a similar vein, the “Affordable Warmth” scheme, which is also known as ECO (the energy companies obligation), is designed to make energy companies cut carbon emissions and there is £300 million from them to install new condensing boilers for free for older people and people on low wages. So if you are in receipt of Pension credit or Child tax credit (and your income is less than £15,860) why not find out more. You can get further details here.
The same scheme might also help you get free loft or cavity insulation. To talk to someone about applying you can call local firm Glowarm on 020 8685 9498 and ask to speak to the ECO Grant department. You can also ring the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234.
And don't forget, to sign up to Siobhain's campaign for cheaper tariffs for pensioners, complete your details below!
Get involved in our campaign by signing the petition below.