In 2018/19, 900 people asked Citizens Advice across Oxfordshire for help with energy and money saving advice. This included help with switching energy suppliers, energy-related consumer problems and fuel debts. The charity aims to help many more in 2019/20. On average, clients save £150 to £200 per year.
One Citizens Advice family member said:
“We came to Citizens Advice West Oxfordshire (CAWO) for advice because our boiler had broken down. My husband is a carer for our eldest daughter who is disabled. Usually I work but I was on maternity leave. We were so cold but also worried about the expense of a new boiler which we could not afford.”
Citizens Advice West Oxfordshire successfully applied for a grant for a boiler and insulation survey saving this family £3,040 as well as improving their energy efficiency going forward.
Across Oxfordshire many people suffer ill-health or are at risk of becoming ill due to living in cold, damp homes. It is estimated that 30% of excess winter deaths are due to health problems associated with cold homes .
Low income, poorly insulated housing, and expensive, inadequate heating systems contribute to fuel poverty.
Energy-saving advice sessions range from checking if clients are eligible for the £140 Warm Home Discount, registering eligibility with the Priority Register for people in need, helping with supplier price comparisons and much more.
Teresa Archer, Chief Officer of
Citizens Advice West Oxfordshire said:
“There are many reasons why people may be paying too much for their energy. Now is a great time for people to get a bit of extra advice and support on how they can save money on their bills this winter.
“If you’re struggling to pay your energy bills or are worried you’re not getting the best deal or just need some advice, our energy champions are on hand to help.”
Energy advice sessions are available over the phone or face-to-face in Citizens Advice offices in Chipping Norton, Witney and across Oxfordshire.