Fuel prices to sour but local charity offers help

Thousands of Island families are facing another jump in household bills after it was reported that the UK’s largest energy supplier plans to hike its tariffs. It is believed that Centrica-owned British Gas, is about to announce that it is increasing electricity and gas charges by 8%.

The average British Gas annual dual-fuel bill for gas and electricity currently stands at £1,260 – meaning a 6% increase would add £76. This news comes as rival Southern & Scottish Energy prepares to increase tariffs by 9% on average on Monday. Npower are to put up energy prices by 9% – adding £113 to the average annual fuel bill. This leaves E.On, EDF and Scottish Power yet to hike prices, however experts have said that they may soon follow suit.

The Island’s Footprint Trust charity runs the Energetic project which gives guidance on saving money on energy bills. They are to shortly launch the Monergy project to give people skills in saving energy and money.

Speaking for the Footprint Trust’s Energetic project Ray Harrington-Vail said…

“People on the Isle of Wight have generally stayed with traditional suppliers. So many people are still with Southern Electricity (SSE) for their electricity and British Gas for their gas. They would be wise to look around for cheaper suppliers.”

“We would however warn against switching on the doorstep or joining clubs that offer the chance of winning a prize. Far better to look for supplier that offers the cheapest energy and has good customer care…”

“If there still are households who have not insulated their homes now is the time to do it. This measure can reduce fuel bills by up to £300 pa…”

“People on low income might also be entitled to the Warm Home Discount Scheme – which can knock £130 off electric bills.”

The Trust is about the launch a free training scheme, giving people the skills they need to understand utility bills, find a better deal and then pass on their knowledge to friends and family. The Monergy project, has been funded by the Isle of Wight Council’s Adult and community Learning. More details from the Trust on 01983 822282 or email ray@footprint-trust.co.uk