Charity offers a New Year Winter Warmer for Island homes…

Winter is finally here accompanied by the usual news about energy price rises. All of the big six energy firms have all put up their prices recently. If you’re on a standard tariff, and you Switch now, you could save around £300 a year by switching to the best deal. “You can lock in the cheap rate for this winter and beyond.” So says Heat Hero Ray from the local Footprint Trust charity.

Thankfully the Trust is holding one of their popular Winter Warmer events on Thursday 25th January at Newport Congregational Church, in Pyle Street from 9.30am to 12.30pm.

The aim being to bring down utility bills, and give guidance on ways in which to save energy and keep warm. They can also help people switch suppliers and can explain the advantages of Smart meters.

We asked Ray to give us his top 5 tips to save energy and save money
1. Insulate your home. The Isle of Wight has a scheme which is free in most cases. This could save you around £400 per year
2. Draught-proof – letter boxes, windows, external doors and key holes can let in the cold. Materials can be purchased from DIY stores, saving around £25 per year.
3. Recycle old appliances – a 20-year old fridge-freezer could cost around £200 per year to run. A new one only £25 a year! Treat yourself to a new one.
4. Service your boiler – looking after your heating system will make it last longer and keep you safe. Contact a Gas Safe plumber.
5. Talk to your Energy company – check you are on the best deal and let them know if you are struggling to pay, or are disabled.

“Please ring us and have a chat about your energy concerns, or details about insulation, and we will help you…” Said Ray.

Last year The Footprint Trust charity helped over 2,000 people with energy and water issues. This year they are particularly focusing on young people setting up home for the first time and the Veteran community.

The Trust’s new PowerForce project works with The Royal British Legion and other organisations to assist ex-service personnel and their families who are struggling with their heating bills.

The Trust is just about to start training people as Energy Champions, so they in turn can help their friends, neighbours and families sort out energy issues.

The event is supported by National Energy Action, The Royal British Legion, Newport Parish Council and Smart UK.

For details of the event or to contact The Footprint Trust call 822282 or

The Footprint Trust is recognised by national and local government for its work in fighting fuel poverty.

Ray Harrington-Vail is recognised as National Heat Hero, by the fuel poverty charity National Energy Action. He is also recognised as an Energy Champion by the government funded Big Energy Saving Network. He is an Honorary Master of the Open University, awarded for his work in helping the educationally excluded in regards to fuel poverty.