Big Energy Saving Week -; a joint campaign between Energy Saving Trust, Department of Energy and Climate Change and Citizens Advice -; revealed almost three quarters of Scottish households are worried about their energy bills.
Local MSP Jackie Baillie highlighted new research from the Energy Savings Trust which shows families in Dumbarton, Vale of Leven and Helensburgh and Lomond could save around £75 a year on energy bills.
The Energy Savings Trust launched a heating myth-buster to mark Big Energy Savings Week after research showed around half of households misuse energy by turning up the thermostat. The campaign helps families learn how to take control of their energy bills with free advice available during the week over the phone and online.
The savings could amount to £1.3 million in West Dunbartonshire and Argyll & Bute and reduce CO2 emissions in the area by 6000 tonnes.
The research also shows that:
* 80 per cent of Scottish respondents believe they understand their heating controls
* Yet half misuse energy when they turn up their thermostat
* Over 40 per cent of Scottish householders think it’s more efficient to leave the heating on all the time
* Only a fifth of bill payers have changed energy supplier in the last year
Big Energy Saving Week -; a joint campaign between Energy Saving Trust, Department of Energy and Climate Change and Citizens Advice -; also reveals almost three quarters of Scottish respondents are still worried about their energy bills.
The campaign urges householders to contact Home Energy Scotland on 0808 808 2282 to find out about practical steps to cut their bills by checking they are on the best deal, switching tariff or supplier and taking up energy saving actions such as using their heating controls in the correct way.
“It is vital that we use every means possible to help families reduce their energy bills and I hope that this campaign will help raise awareness of the savings that can be made by making simple changes in how we use our heating.
“However with a third of households in Scotland struggling to heat their homes, we must take urgent action to address the underlying reasons for fuel poverty. We need a strategy to tackle low wages, cut energy prices and improve energy efficiency to ensure that nobody in Dumbarton, Vale of Leven and Helensburgh and Lomond has to choose between heating or eating. At a time of the biggest cost of living crisis in generations, it is unacceptable that the UK and Scottish Governments refuse to back Labour’s call to freeze gas and electricity prices and take on the ‘Big 6’ energy companies.”
Mike Thornton, Director of the Energy Saving Trust Scotland said:
“Rightfully, millions of householders are confused by their heating controls because, let’s be honest, it is a bit of a minefield. There are plenty of myths out there and it’s no wonder people aren’t getting it right. We are urging customers to learn about the myths, check their tariff, switch suppliers and insulate their homes.”
Margaret Lynch, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Scotland, said:
“The Scottish CAB service provides support for people who are struggling to pay for their fuel bills on a daily basis. Energy prices having risen by third since 2010 and our advisors saw the number of cases related to household fuel bills in 2013/14 soar by 79% from the previous year. As energy prices continue to squeeze household budgets, it’s important that people are aware of what they can do to keep their fuel bills down. The Citizens Advice bureaux are running Big Energy Savings week events in Scotland to help people lower their costs in time for win