On 23rd January, SDCE Directors Katie and Sophie traveled up to the House of Commons for the NEA Heat Heroes Awards. Sophie was honoured to have been chosen as a Heat Hero among 16 others from across the UK.
It was amazing to hear the stories of how each of the winners had gone above and beyond to help alleviate fuel poverty in their local areas. Many of the winners were working at grass roots levels helping people one to one, meeting their needs where other services had failed them.
Sophie said, "although its wonderful to be recognised for the work we are all doing, it is very sad that it is required. Recently we have found ourselves delivering Food Bank parcels to clients who are isolated, in poor social housing, unable to travel or afford to access the internet to log onto their Universal Credit journals, or referring onto Social Services because someone is unable to care for themselves safely. The awards highlighted to me how energy advisors are doing this all across the country. An energy advisor is rarely just an energy advisor!"
You can read the amazing stories of all the winners on the NEA website.
Have you thought about switching energy supplier, but don’t know where to start? Or maybe you’ve used a switching site, but you’re overwhelmed by the choices?
As part of my role as a Home Energy Advisor for SDCE I help people navigate this on a regular basis, and thought it may be useful to share some tips.
What’s the best company to switch to?
This varies depending on your energy use and the offers available at the time. We always check an Ofgem accredited comparison site such as Uswitch, using the most up to date information from your energy bill. The information you need can all be found on your bill under the ‘About Your Tariff’ section.
How do I narrow down the options given?
Before getting too lost in the potential savings it’s worth checking the filters on the left hand side. This allows you to select suppliers who support paper billing, for example, or to look for suppliers who support the Warm Homes Discount scheme. It’s worth including suppliers that you have to go to directly, as these can often offer better savings as they don’t have to pay the comparison site for the referral, and it’s not much more work to switch that way. I normally recommend keeping the options wide open if you’re looking for the cheapest deal.
There’s still too many options!
So you’ve entered your details and filtered the selection. Chances are that you don’t recognise the name of the top 10 (at least) cheapest options. So how to choose?
This is where it gets subjective, but I can outline what I look for in a supplier:
If I’ve not heard of a company before, I head over to their website to look at their ‘About us’ section. If they offer a bit more; working directly with suppliers of renewable energy, providing a community benefit fund or assisting fuel poverty reduction work that is a big plus.
Once you’ve whittled down the list, it may be worth looking at Top Cashback, Quidco or similar cashback sites, or seeing if any friends have a referral code you can use to get a welcome bonus, these can be worth up to £100 in some cases!
And of course if you need any advice please get in touch with our Energy Advice team, you can call or email, pop down to a drop in session or we can visit you at home if its hard for you to get out and about.