Over Half of Brits Miss Out on Cutting Bills Savings

196
Bills by Erich Ferdinand via flickr

New research has revealed that more than 50% of the British public forget to review their monthly expenditure, missing out on savings.

And while 43 per cent of households believe changing energy supplier won’t help cut their outgoings, Big Energy Saving Week has found that UK bill payers could save around £300 simply by switching.

Big Energy Saving Week, a joint campaign between the Energy Saving Trust, Citizens Advice and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to help people save on energy costs ahead of the winter. Running from October 31-November 6, the campaign will host events throughout the UK to offer advice on reducing energy costs and help people keep their homes affordably warm.

The UK-wide Ipsos MORI study carried out by the Energy Saving Trust reveals households will take on a range of strategies to save this amount of money. Only 45 per cent consider reviewing their monthly bills to find £300, and a third would be willing to spend 10 hours or more of their free time working overtime.

A fifth of people would consider turning to debt via a credit card, while 14 per cent would ask friends or family for a loan. Meanwhile 31 per cent of people say they would use an extra £300 to pay off debt or buy essential household items.

Philip Sellwood, chief executive of the Energy Saving Trust said: “It is a concern that many people would look to use a credit card or ask those closest to them for cash if they needed to raise an extra £300. With 31 per cent of people saying they would use that money for essential items or to pay off debt, this could lead to a vicious cycle of paying off debt with more debt.

“Changing energy supplier is a much more sustainable way of achieving savings of around £300, while simple changes in the home such as adding extra insulation or using energy efficient bulbs will give added protection from possible increases in energy prices.”

Minister for Consumers Margot James said: “Millions of people have already switched and saved this year, but we know that some people can find it difficult to find the best deal. Big Energy Saving Week will help people up and down the country find out how they could save on their energy bills, many could save around £300, as we create a country that works for everyone.”

Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: “People can save hundreds of pounds by switching their gas and electricity.

“By checking how much they’re paying and comparing prices people can work out if they’re currently on the best deal, and if they can cut their bills by going to another supplier.

“Throughout Big Energy Saving Week, Citizens Advice will be hosting events in local communities where people can learn how to save energy, insulate their homes and compare energy prices so they can keep their bills to a minimum. People can also use our online price comparison tool to find a better deal.”

A price comparison tool launched by Citizens Advice allows bill payers to search the market and get an impartial view of the best offers for them. Outlining annual fee and basing results on location, it is the only site in the UK that provides information on all tariffs available, allowing bill payers to compare options side by side without influence of sponsored results.

It also provides information about whether you can access the Warm Home Discount through each supplier.

Big Energy Saving Week provides advice to people over the telephone through the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234, or face-to-face at hundreds of events being held across Britain. To find an event near you, log on to bigenergysavingweek.org.uk.

To see how much you could save on your energy bill, the Citizens Advice price comparison tool can be found at energycompare.citizensadvice.org.uk.