Wednesday, 12 November 2014

A Few Minutes Can Save A Fortune! #GreatBritishSwitch

There's no denying that winter is its on its way, yet many elderly people are still restricting the length of time their heating is on in a bid to save money.  Shockingly, research suggests that around 95% of those aged 65 and over have never switched energy supplier, despite the fact that an average household could save up to £350 a year by doing so.  This weekend has been earmarked the Great British Switch and online comparison site is encouraging older people to see how much money they could save on their energy bills this winter by switching to a new supplier.

One reason people in the 65+ age bracket are not switching could be that they are less likely to have Internet access, so why not spare 5 minutes this weekend to help an elderly relative or neighbour make the switch?  I must admit I don't always check the new deals religiously myself, but I did actually change ours a couple of weeks ago to get a much better and fixed rate, saving around £200 a year.

Prompted by the Great British Switch campaign, Steve has been on the phone to his parents in Exmouth to check their current deal.  I was surprised to hear that, despite being fairly online-savvy, they had never checked their fuel on a comparison site, and had never switched supplier.  After looking out their most recent bill, Steve checked online and found a deal which will save them around £300 a year, that's £25 a month, which will make a big difference to them.

Trying to log on when not distracted by small person!
Feeling inspired, we popped round to our neighbour Elsie, 82, to see if she had switched her energy supplier lately.  Thankfully we had cavity wall insulation put in in our block in the spring and her flat is a middle one, so lovely and toasty.  But Elsie is still struggling with high energy bills for cooking and general electricity usage, not to mention a gas fire and storage heaters which will definitely be needed as the cold weather sets in.  Insulation only goes so far!  A quick look online and we found a better deal for her too, saving £205.

It seems terrible that the people who most need heating and are perhaps also highly likely to be on a very restricted budget are also the ones least likely to shop around for a better deal.  But hopefully we have helped a few people save some money this winter.  And of course you do need to remember to keep checking, the best deal this year may not be the best deal next.

My mum's on holiday at the moment, but I will be checking how much she can save as soon as she gets back.  When I have spoken to her about doing so before she has always worried about switching suppliers, so I need to emphasise that she doesn't actually need to do anything to switch, other than perhaps reading the meter when the suppliers change over.  A small price to pay when you could be saving two or three hundred pounds!

Who will you help to make the switch this weekend?

Help keep the elderly warm this winter with the #GreatBritishSwitch from 14th – 16th November. For every switch will donate £5 to Friends of the Elderly.  As a thanks for taking part in the campaign, will also donate £50 on my behalf to Friends of the Elderly.

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1 comment :

  1. Good idea to let elderly neighbours know. It seems all to often they do not have computers so it would be hard for them to shop around


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