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The Big Switch & Save – cheaper energy bills supplied by people power!

North Norfolk residents can save money on their energy bills thanks to the new Big Switch & Save scheme being introduced by the district council.

Residents can register to be included in a ‘reverse auction’ to find the cheapest energy tariff for their householder. By grouping thousands of households together, it is possible to negotiate much lower energy tariffs. Schemes elsewhere in the country have seen residents save an average of £171 per year on their bills!

The scheme closes for applications on 8 April, after which energy suppliers compete in the auction. The best deal is then offered to those who registered – if the householder chooses to change to the new tariff, the switch will be carried out automatically.

The more households who join, the stronger the bargaining power, and so NNDC has teamed up with five other Norfolk councils under the banner of ‘The Norfolk Big Switch and Save’.

You can help by spreading the word among your friends and family. It is also possible to register up to five households on the same email address, which means neighbours and family members could help each other sign up too.

If you want to benefit from the scheme, sign-up online before 8 April via www.bigswitchandsave.co.uk.

Registering is quick, easy and is no-obligation – all you need is a recent energy bill (one year’s worth of bills for best results). See the Big Switch & Save website for more details.

For residents with no access to the internet, it is possible to apply over the phone or arrange an appointment at the council offices to get help to register, up to the end of March. Call  01263 516044  for more details.

 

Make the most of the energy you use and save hundreds of pounds a year on your bills!

With some simple energy saving home improvements, you can save money, improve the comfort of your home and help fight climate change.

An energy efficient house makes sense. It’s cheaper to run and it could be a key selling point when you choose to sell your house.

Visit the Energy Saving Trust website for a free home energy report which could save you around £250 a year. Spend a few minutes completing the questions and you’ll receive a personalised report showing you how much energy and money you could save.

The Low Carbon Norfolk website has information on saving energy, resources and money and is aimed specifically at people living in the county of Norfolk. The site includes information for local residents, community organisations, schools and businesses.

On the National Energy Action (NEA) website, you can find a range of information on grants and funding to improve the energy efficiency of your home, as well as simple advice about different property types, information on budgeting and paying for fuel, and a summary of technologies which can help cut your fuel bills.

The suggestions below show some of the many ways you can save energy and money in your home.

 

Measures that cost you nothing

  • Switch off lights in unoccupied rooms, even if it is only for a minute
  • Switch appliances completely off when they are not in use (not on standby – the red light indicates energy is still being used)
  • Turn the thermostat on your central heating down by 1 degree. This can save you £40 a year
  • Turn the thermostat on your hot water storage tank (if you have one) down to 60 degrees C
  • Use the timer on your central heating, so that the heating goes off 30 minutes before you leave the house and comes on again 30 minutes before you come home – this will ensure you are warm, but will be less wasteful
  • Close your curtains at dusk to keep the heat in
  • Try wearing some extra clothes before turning the heating on
  • Use a washing up bowl instead of washing up under the running tap
  • Make sure that your dishwasher and washing machine are fully loaded before running them, and use the economy/low temperature settings where possible
  • Wash your clothes at 30 degrees C. This can save £10 a year and will still clean you clothes
  • Don’t tumble-dry: line-dry or use a clothes horse. If drying clothes inside make sure that the room is well ventilated to prevent mould growth
  • Run your fridge and freezer efficiently by keeping them well stocked and with the door open for as little time as possible. Let items completely cool before putting them in the fridge and keep them covered as the extra heat and moisture requires more energy to cool. Defrost them regularly to keep them efficient
  • Take showers instead of baths to save on hot water – you can also insulate under your bath to keep the water hot for longer when you are having long soaks
  • Only boil as much water as you need in your kettle
  • When cooking, ensure the pans are on the correct ring size with the lids kept on

Measures that cost little

  • Draught proof letterboxes, keyholes, doors, windows and unused chimneys
  • Replace regular light bulbs with energy saving bulbs, shop around as there are often discounts available. Each bulb installed could save you around £8 per year!
  • Make sure your hot water tank and pipes are insulated
  • Install radiator heat reflecting foils – cheap from a DIY shop or make your own out of heavy duty aluminium foil and polystyrene tiles
  • Insulate any gaps in your floor or skirting boards, or simply use a rug

Measures worth investing in

  • Cavity wall insulation costs between £200-500 and saves approximately £120 per year
  • Loft insulation of 270mm also costs between £200-500 and saves £45-£155 per year (depending upon existing levels of insulation present)
  • External insulation for solid walls costs £4,500 and saves approximately £380 per year
  • Replacing your old boiler with an efficient condensing model saves £130 per year
  • Installing double or secondary glazing can save you around £110 a year, with installation costs varying depending on your house and the company you use, see the British Fenestration Rating Council for more information
  • Improve the controls on your heating system.
  • When buying new appliances consider the energy rating – look for the energy saving recommended logo to identify the most efficient models.

 

Further information

  • The type of insulation you require will depend on the type of walls you have. Further details can be found here
  • Renewable energy is another way you might wish to consider to reduce your energy bills and cut your carbon emissions
  • North Norfolk District Council’s Housing team are offering local residents a free energy efficiency survey of their home. For more information visit the housing section of this website or download full details here. [PDF, 68KB]
  • The Norfolk RCC’s ‘Thinking Fuel‘ programme allows groups of individual to take advantage of bulk fuel purchasing for properties in off-grid areas.
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