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Brits are ignoring an easy way to save cash

Official figures say switching energy supplier can save £300 – but it seems that British people are looking at more extreme and time-consuming options to save up that sort of cash instead.

Big Energy Saving Week 2016In a survey of nearly 2,500 bill payers for Big Energy Saving Week, a fifth said they'd turn to credit cards if they required £300, while a third said they'd give up 10 hours or more of their time in a week. The difficult questions and sacrifices don't stop there, with 14 per cent saying they would ask friends or family for a loan.

The tools to change are there

Things needn't be that hard. An energy price comparison tool just launched by Citizens Advice allows bill payers to search the market and get a completely impartial view of all tariffs available, without the influence of sponsored results. 

This energy awareness week seems to have come at just the right time – as over half of those who responded to the survey won't review their monthly bills to find savings. 

It seems that many of us are labouring under a false belief that energy is not where we're going to achieve a boost to household finances, with 43 per cent holding the view that switching won't benefit them and their pockets. Ofgem's £300 figure says otherwise. 

READ MORE OF OUR HOME ENERGY EFFICIENCY BLOGS:

Avoid a cycle of debt – and get warmer

Philip Sellwood Energy Saving Trust CEOAnd there are ways to save more, without the extreme measures, as Energy Saving Trust Chief Executive Philip Sellwood (pictured) points out. 

He said: “It is a concern that many people would look to use a credit card or ask those closest to them for cash if they needed to raise an extra £300. With 31 per cent of people saying they would use that money for essential items or to pay off debt, this could lead to a vicious cycle of paying off debt with more debt.

“Changing energy supplier is a much more sustainable way of achieving savings of around £300, while simple changes in the home such as adding extra insulation or using energy efficient bulbs will give added protection from possible increases in energy prices.”

Get help, at your convenience

Big Energy Saving Week is all about affordable warmth, and there are events happening all this week which bring together all the best information from Energy Saving Trust, Citizens Advice and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). If you can't make one of them, give the Energy Saving Advice Service a call on 0300 123 1234. 

Before you do anything drastic to get hold of a few hundred quid, it would also be well worth repeating that price comparison tool once again: energycompare.citizensadvice.org.uk

We're giving you the chance to win money towards your energy costs - with thanks to our friends at Energy UK.

Enter the Big Energy Saving Week quiz and you could WIN £1,500 towards your energy bill.

Discover more ways to save money on your bills with our energy saving quick wins. Share your thoughts with us in the comments below, or tweet @EnergySvgTrust.

Gary Hartley is Energy Saving Trust's expert blogger. He has extensive experience researching and writing on a number of topics, with particular expertise in sustainable energy, policy, literature and sport. As well as providing regular blog content, Gary has also been published in numerous magazines and journals.

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Insulation is definitely the best way to save energy. Get insulation for your loft and walls and turn that thermostat down. Coupled with low energy devices, I have definitely noticed the difference.

Wear more clothes and don't turn the heating on

FANTASTIC PRIZE

fantastic PRIZE . cosy winters if I win

Good information, thank you

I try and save money by turning the lights off when we leave a room now, we have also changed all the bulbs to LED which are more energy efficient. All plugs are switched off overnight where possible and again where possible nothing is left in standby mode. The kettle is only filled with the amount of water needed and the dishwasher is only switched on once full. Anything that doesn't fit in gets hand washed. I only wash when I have a full load and then washing is put out on washing line to dry whenever possible. Now we have started to have the heating on it is on a timer so it isn't used during the day when no one is home and we have turned the thermostat down by 1degree.

Great information. We also offer a great energy comparison services if you are interested in switching your energy supplier. Why not try https://www.befuddled.co.uk/energy/