Coronavirus: Help for Shropshire residents as home energy use rises during lockdown
Help is at hand for residents who may be seeing an increase in energy bills during the current coronavirus lockdown.
Keep Shropshire Warm, a partnership between Shropshire Council and Marches Energy Agency, a registered charity, continue to provide advice and support on keeping bills in check during this uncertain time.
Robert Macey, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for housing and strategic planning, said:-
“As households around Shropshire stay at home, we can see our energy bills rise as gadgets become essential for staying in touch and the heating may need to be on more than usual. For most homes, big energy bills during the lockdown might feel inevitable.
“We also know getting advice is harder for people now. Although we can’t pop out and see people, The Keep Shropshire Warm team are able to offer detailed advice via video calls, or put information in the post if people prefer. We’ve set up a password system to reassure residents, and are happy to talk to a trusted friend or relative if that’s easier.
“If you have concerns around the increase in your energy bills please call one of our energy advisers at Keep Shropshire Warm on 0800 112 3743.”
Keep Shropshire Warm’s energy top tips during the lockdown:-
- If you’re at home more than usual expect your bills to rise – if you don’t have a smart meter, submit a meter reading at least once a month so you don’t get behind.
- If you can’t afford your bill talk to your energy provider or Keep Shropshire Warm. Many suppliers have put in place help for customers who are struggling.
- Shop around for a good energy deal – there’s some bargains out there at the moment.
- Get the washing out – if you’ve got outdoor space, washing should dry over a day, as we are in spring.
- Cut the waste – make sure gadgets aren’t on, or on standby, overnight. Keep an eye on the weather, and your heating controls. As we get into warmer weather, you might be able to turn the heating down during the day and put a jumper on, and then boost temperatures in the evening.
- Keep active – ditch kitchen and cleaning gadgets and get an upper body workout with a wooden spoon or brush. An online workout first thing will help get your own central heating pumping, and will mean you are less likely to touch the thermostat during the day.
- Get the family involved – if you’ve got a smart meter, it’s easier to see what (and who) is using the most energy. Non-essentials like hair straighteners might have to go.
Oliver Rothwell of Marches Energy Agency, said:-
“It’s understandable that when all the family are stuck at home, usage is going to go up – and with jobs and income at risk it’s a huge worry for people. It is estimated bills will rise by around 30% over the period – that’s an average of £28 a month.
“Fortunately, gas prices are also falling – so it’s a great time to review your energy bills and find a trusted supplier who will give you a great deal. We use customer service ratings to advise our callers, as well as prices, to make sure people are in safe hands. If you are behind with payments or having billing issues, we can help you deal with this too.”
Keep Shropshire Warm can be contacted on 0800 112 3743 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org
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