Hot Tea and Warm Homes

Free tea and cake may have got them in, but it was help with switching that people were interested in when they came along to The Footprint Trust’s Switching Event on Thursday 9th February in Newport Parish Centre, Isle of Wight.

“This has been an enormous help to me…” a consumer told Mark Russell, Big Energy Saving Network (BESN) Champion with The Footprint Trust, whilst switching energy provider and saving the consumer an estimated £120 a year.

Responding to feedback from consumers, and as part of the National Energy Action’s Warm Homes Campaign, The Footprint Trust provided free, impartial energy switching guidance at an event supported by the local Citizen’s Advice. J&J Crump, who provide home insulation as part of the Energy Companies’ Obligation, were also there to chat to people.

Anecdotal evidence gathered by The Footprint Trust indicates that, although people are aware of switching, they are very reluctant to do so, with many people of all age-groups preferring to stay with the traditional local electricity supplier.

“Although in our experience the traditional local electricity supplier offers good customer care, it is often the case that people could save money by switching to another provider,” says Ray, NEA National Heat Hero and Big Energy Saving Network Champion.

“It seems to be anxiety about what can go wrong which puts most people off,” added Mark, BESN Champion for The Footprint Trust. “That’s why we thought we’d put on this event, to give people the support they need when switching.”

“If you hadn’t helped me, I wouldn’t have switched by myself,” one lady told us, “It’s not that I can’t go on-line; it’s the process which scares me.”

It took about 20-30 minutes per consumer so a total of 10 consumers were ˜switched’ at the event, whilst others were happy to receive general energy-saving guidance – along with a piece of cake.

Savings of between £34 and £187 were identified for consumers using USwitch, one of the OFGEM-approved comparison websites .

For those that missed the event they can contact the Trust on 822282 or email to make an appointment to switch or get guidance on energy matters.