Livingston MP, Graeme Morrice, is supporting Big Energy Saving Week 2014.
Big Energy Saving Week, a joint UK campaign between Energy Saving Trust, Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and Citizens Advice, aims to help people cut their fuel bills and get all the financial support they are entitled to.
The campaign runs from 20-24 October, with free advice available during the week over the phone, online and at events across the UK.
The week will help householders to take practical steps to cut to 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.
A key focus of the campaign this year is the heating myth-buster. Recent findings have shown that four fifths of Scottish people (80 per cent) claim to understand how to use their heating controls, however, many of these respondents turn out to be using their heating controls incorrectly:
MYTH 1: Turn the heating up when it’s cold outside. Over half (53 per cent) turn the thermostat up when it’s cold outside. A home shouldn’t need this as the thermostat is there to maintain the home temperature whatever the weather.
MYTH 2: Turn up the thermostat to heat the room quicker. Over a third (35 per cent) turn their room thermostat up when they want the room to heat up quicker. This does not help a room become warmer any quicker and only heats the home to a warmer temperature.
MYTH 3: Leave the heating on low constantly. 41 per cent think it is more energy efficient to leave the heating turned on at a low temperature constantly, rather than turn it on and off. This means these homes are heated when no-one is there to benefit and then the home is too cold when people are in the home.
MYTH 4: Hot water runs out if you stop feeding the tank. Nearly a third (32 per cent) leave their water heating on all the time to make sure they never run out, which could be costing far more on their energy bills than necessary.
MYTH 5: Keep electric storage heaters on all the time. Our research also found that few people with electric storage heaters understood how they work (only 37%). This means that households with electric heating could be paying through the nose by not taking advantage of cheaper night rate electricity.
Speaking after the launch, Mr Morrice said:
“I am backing the Big Energy Saving Week campaign as too many families in West Lothian and Scotland suffer from fuel poverty.
“I would urge my constituents to make use of the free and helpful advice available. By taking practical steps to cut their bills, checking they are on the best deal and switching tariff or supplier, West Lothian households could save £1.2 million a year and homes could save £75 a year”.
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 winter”.