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Consumers can help themselves to reduce their bills, says Energy Advice Line

The Energy Advice Line has urged energy users to seek help with their bills following a survey showing less than one-third of consumers check with their supplier to make sure they are on the cheapest deal. Julian Morgan, managing director of the business electric supplier comparison, switching, and advice service for energy users, said with the spiraling cost of energy, consumers should do more for themselves to reduce their bills.

The survey carried out for Big Energy Saving Week (January 27 – 31) showed that less than one-third of consumers had spoken to their energy supplier to check they were on the best available deal. It found that only 19% had insulated their homes and as few as 10% had switched to a cheaper way to pay their bills.

“We understand that there’s a lot to think about when it comes to household and business energy,” Mr Morgan said. “But there’s a lot more to keeping bills in check than choosing a supplier – there are many other decisions to make. Many suppliers offer discounts if you pay by direct debit, for example, but we are amazed at the number of people who don’t take advantage of this and pay their bills manually each month.”

“Lots of consumers also forget to do the one simple thing that costs them nothing: contact their supplier on a regular basis to ensure they are on the best available deal. Suppliers regularly develop now products and it pays to keep in touch with them to ensure you’re on the best deal possible. The key thing is for consumers to take control of their energy bills.”

Big Energy Saving Week is aimed at helping consumers take practical steps to reduce their energy bills by checking they are on the best deal, switching suppliers, insulating their homes, and using less energy. Organisers of the campaign, which is supported by government, charities, and the energy industry, claim households could save up to £320 from energy efficiency measures, an average of £100 from paying by direct debit and up to £200 by shopping around.

The survey also found that households are trying to reduce their energy costs by turning down the heating (52%) or using less electricity (51%), while 16% are using fewer rooms in their home.

“These findings chime exactly with what we see every day when helping our customers find cheaper deals,” Mr Morgan said. “Shopping around can genuinely save them significant amounts of money, and consumers can use an independent and impartial switching service like ours to help them do this for free. Our advisers go further and help customers manage their bills by making sure they aware of the potential savings they can make, like paying by direct debit.” He said customers could also help themselves by exploring ways to reduce their energy use such as fitting new boilers, double glazing or improving insulation.

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