Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP, Angus MacNeil yesterday attended the launch of the Big Energy Saving Week at Westminster.

Big Energy Saving Week (20-24 October) is funded by the Department for Energy and Climate Change in collaboration with Energy Saving Trust and Citizens Advice Bureau.   The campaign helps householders learn how to take control of their energy bills with free advice available during the week over the phone, online and at events across the UK.

According to The Energy Saving Trust, households in the Western Isles could save £75 a year if they take control of their heating.

Households can get advice on how to qualify for any energy saving improvements and find out how to save money on winter fuel bills through the Scottish Government’s Home Energy Scotland hotline by calling 0808 808 2282.

Commenting Angus MacNeil MP said:

“Fuel poverty in an energy rich country like Scotland is an absolute scandal.  The Western Isles suffers from the highest levels of fuel poverty in the UK and many people are worried about their energy bills.  I support the Big Energy Saving Week campaign which is urging customers to learn about the myths, check their tariff, switch suppliers and insulate their homes.”

“Together with my SNP colleagues at Westminster, we continue to raise the issue of energy costs and I am also urging the Westminster government to consider island renewable generation to be consumed on the islands which would then result in dropping the surcharge, both for the export and import of energy.

“The Big Energy Saving Week highlights ways in which customers could save money on their energy bills and I would urge constituents to get advice from Home Energy Scotland (Scotland) on 0808 808 2282 or online at www.adviceguide.org.uk/scotland or by calling consumer advice on 0808 800 9060.”

For further advice about saving energy in the home visit energysavingtrust.org.uk

For information about Big Energy saving Week visit: bigenergysavingweek.org.uk

 Ends                                                                                        

 NOTES TO EDITORS:

 Photograph attached of Angus MacNeil MP at launch of Big Energy Saving Week at Westminster.

 The Energy Saving Trust highlight that findings from an Ipsos MORI survey of over 2,000 UK respondents[1] show that four fifths of Scottish people (80 per cent) claim to understand how to use their heating controls. However, many of these respondents turn out to be using their heating controls incorrectly. Of those who thought they understood how to operate their heating controls:

  • MYTH 1: Turn up the thermostat to heat the room quicker. Over a third (35 per cent) turn their room thermostat up when they want the room to heat up quicker. This does not help a room become warmer any quicker and only heats the home to a warmer temperature.
  • MYTH 2: Leave the heating on low constantly. 41 per cent think it is more energy efficient to leave the heating turned on at a low temperature constantly, rather than turn it on and off. This means these homes are heated when no-one is there to benefit and then the home is too cold when people are in the home.
  • MYTH 3: Hot water runs out if you stop feeding the tank. Nearly a third (32 per cent) leave their water heating on all the time to make sure they never run out, which could be costing far more on their energy bills than necessary.
  • MYTH 4: Keep electric storage heaters on all the time. Our research also found that few people with electric storage heaters understood how they work (only 37%). This means that households with electric heating could be paying through the nose by not taking advantage of cheaper night rate electricity.

The Energy Saving Trust also focus on Switching Energy Suppliers:

  • EST’s research also found many households are still not regularly switching energy supplier. Only a fifth of bill payers in Scotland claimed to have changed energy supplier in the last year, yet we found switching is easier than people think.
  • 57 per cent of those who had switched energy suppliers in the last year agreed that it could save a lot of money, but only 28 per cent of those who’d not considered switching thought it could benefit them.
  • Older people are less likely to consider changing their energy supplier; 63% of those over 55 claim they are unlikely to consider switching in the next year, compared to 44% of those under 35.

ENDS

Angus MacNeil[1] Over 2,400 responses, including over 500 from Scottish residents, a sufficient number to provide figures representative of the Scottish population