Cutting costs without turning down the heating

HELPFUL TEAM: The Citizen's Advice Bureaue staff, back (from left):  Gordon Gooding, Suzy Pickering, Anthony Atkinson, Linda Huff; front Lesley Eldridge, Christine Gratton, Sue Holdsworth, Lisa Barwell.
HELPFUL TEAM: The Citizen's Advice Bureaue staff, back (from left): Gordon Gooding, Suzy Pickering, Anthony Atkinson, Linda Huff; front Lesley Eldridge, Christine Gratton, Sue Holdsworth, Lisa Barwell.

By Lisa Barwell, Chief officer for South Holland Citizens Advice Bureau

As energy prices rise our clients frequently make enquires on how to reduce heating costs.

Such as this: “I use heating oil to power my home, but I’m struggling to cover the cost.

“It’s hard for me to cut my energy use to save money, as my daughter’s asthma gets worse if I turn the heating down too low. Is there anything I can do to cut my bills?”

Households who use heating oil often struggle to cut their costs as they don’t have the same ability to shop around as those who are on grid.

But there is action that you can take to cut costs and save money, without having to turn down the heating.

Stocking up on oil now, before temperatures start to drop, can help you to avoid the high costs of buying during the winter.

The cost of oil is usually at its highest in December, January and February, as extra demand can push up the cost.

Make sure you shop around for the best price and ask suppliers about flexible payment options if you struggle to pay the whole cost up front.

Joining an oil club is also a great way of saving money as you can often get a better price by clubbing together with others and buying in bulk.

This will also cut down the number of trips the oil supplier needs to make, which could reduce delivery costs and is better for the environment.

To see if there’s an oil club in your local area, put your postcode into the oil club map at www.citizensadvice.org.uk/oilclubs

If you would like to set up your own club, CAB can help. Come into the bureau or visit the website to find out everything you need to know.

It’s also worth checking whether there are any grants or discounts you are entitled to.

A quick call to the Energy Savings Advice Service on 0300 1231234 will help you get to the bottom of that.