The Footprint Trust’s senior energy officer has warned Islanders of the dangers of getting inaccurate or misleading energy advice from the tabloid press, social media and celebrities.
There is a high cost to filling up the tank these days! Petrol and Diesel prices have soared, how can we reduce this expense…by making that fuel last up to 30% longer!
The local Footprint Trust charity has declared 31 March ‘Island Meter Reading Day’.
The local charity which gives free help and guidance on domestic utility bills, has warned Islanders that it is essential that they take gas and electricity meter reading before the massive price increase coming in effect – ironically on April Fools Day.
Many rural Isle of Wight households which rely on oil, bottled gas, coal and wood to heat and cook are facing rapidly rising bills, made worse due to the Russian war against Ukraine.
The BBC and other news media warned that UK energy bills could reach as high as £3,000 a year as oil and gas prices surge amid the Ukraine conflict, following comments made by the energy industry.
Isle of Wight households will typically pay an extra £693 a year on their energy bills from April. The massive rise in energy bills will put a further pressure on people already facing higher prices, rising taxes and benefit cuts. For those people on prepayment meters there will be a rise from £1,309 a year to £2,017 for a typical household bill.
The Footprint Trust has for the first time heavily criticised the government over its lack of action over the pending massive energy bill rises. Consumers on the Isle of Wight will be faced with energy bill rises of up to £600 from April this year.
Martin Lewis speaking recently on ITV’s Good Morning Britain programme highlighted the forthcoming price hike, the biggest jump for decades caused by global wholesale price increases. The situation has led to over twenty energy companies going bust. There have been calls for the government to soften the blow for householders by cutting VAT and government enforced environmental and social obligation costs charged on domestic bills, which make up around fifteen percent of the average bill.
Speaking on behalf of the Trust their General Manager and senior energy officer said,
“The government is not to blame for the international crises, but it does have time to act now, to prevent thousands of Islanders falling into fuel poverty. Hundreds of people here are already turning off the heat and sitting in cold damp homes, this will turn into thousands next winter, unless action is taken now.”
“The government has a number of options, which could include increasing the Warm Home Discount and suspending VAT on energy bills, it could also choose to remove or reduce the green social tariff and to fund such measures out of general taxation.”
“In the meantime, householders need to insulate their homes, and replace old inefficient appliances and get into the habit to turning things off. We urge anyone who is concerned to contact us on 822282 for guidance and help.”
You can’t forget that Christmas is almost upon us, as the countdown started in October. Many readers will remember that there seemed to be a rule many decades ago, when Christmas displays and goods did not start appearing until after Bonfire night.
It is easy to put the other things out of your mind, whilst focusing on buying presents and sending cards, and ordering the turkey or nut roast!
The Footprint Trust has come up with ‘12 Top Christmas Tips’ for the festive period. You can of course add you own or turn it into a Yuletide Carol…
- Check you have a stash of emergency food that can be eaten without cooking it, in case of power failure, tinned food being the obvious choice.
- Keep emergency numbers and important contacts in an easy-to-see place, such as on the fridge door. These might be a nearby neighbour and your doctor.
- Senior citizens, disabled people and those with young children can go on the free Priority Services Register, held by your energy and water company. They can then contact you during a power cut, or mains water interruption, and get you assistance.
- For those with pre-payment Key/Card meters – check you have enough credit on them for the bank holidays. Contact your energy company and ask for emergency credit, if you have no money.
- If you are struggling with energy bills, then try just to keep your living room warm, and bedroom rather than the whole house. Do not let the temperature drop below 18 degrees.
- When cooking the Christmas meal try and use the oven for cooking the vegetables too, this cuts energy wastage. If you have a microwave oven this can be the most efficient way of cooking various meals, follow manufacture’s instructions. Put lids on saucepans.
- Avoid candles, they are more expensive than light bulbs to run, give off soot and cause hundreds of house fires every year.
- When cooking or showering always ventilate, and keep internal doors closed to prevent steam and damp traveling around the house. Extractor fans only cost pennies to run, or open window to get rid of moisture.
- Turn stuff off! If you are not watching the TV, turn it off and put the radio on or listen to music via your Tablet or Smartphone – they are much cheaper to run.
- Try and keep good quality wrapping paper to re-use next year, and recycle packaging you can’t re-use.
- After Christmas donate all those unwanted and old quality gifts to charity shops or sell on Ebay.
- ‘Bubble & Squeak’ is a good way of using up leftovers, and of course a turkey curry is always a treat!