May 19, 2016
How Students Can Seek Support in Switching Energy Suppliers and Reducing Their Energy Costs
For most students, university is the first time they’ve lived in a home of their own – sharing a house with friends is often one of the most memorable highlights of our student days. For many, it’s also the first time they’ve dealt with an energy supplier.
There are a lot of suppliers and tariffs to choose from, and it can be hard to know where to start. Even once you’re set up, reading meters and sorting bill payments between several people can be a lot to manage.
Fortunately, help is at hand for anyone who needs support to understand or keep track of their energy usage. The Community Action Partnership (CAP), a joint initiative between NEA Cymru and British Gas, has been working to bring affordable warmth to people in Cardiff over the past two years. During this time, CAP has delivering a varied programme of awareness sessions and events to help people understand how to use energy more efficiently. As part of this work, NEA Cymru has provided free training to student advisers from universities across the city, including USW, arming them with the skills needed to help the student community understand more about energy usage, paying bills and how to heat homes efficiently.
Whether you need help switching energy suppliers, are confused about your landlord’s responsibilities, or want to find out about how you can cut your energy usage, your student advisers can offer free, impartial advice. Please get in touch with Student Money Advice Team
As well as speaking to a student adviser, here are five energy tips that you can use at home:
• Keep furniture away from radiators to allow heat to flow around the room easily
• Block draughts to stop heat escaping by fitting insulation strips on windows and doors or by covering keyholes and letterboxes (but be careful not to block vents, these are important to keep air circulating). These strips can be bought cheaply at a local DIY store
• Save energy and reduce condensation by keeping lids on pans when cooking
• Save electricity by defrosting the freezer regularly. As it gets more frosted-up, the freezer has to work harder to keep cold, so more electricity is used
• Don’t dry clothes on the radiators – this can cause mould and condensation. It also makes the boiler work harder than it needs to by heating the clothes as well as the room.
Whether you’re a British Gas customer or not, you can call the British Gas Energy Efficiency Advice Line on 0800 072 8629 or visit their website for more advice on improving the energy efficiency of your home.