As winter approaches and heating systems are fired up, many people in North Devon will be finding it challenging to meet the cost of heating their homes properly.  However help is at hand as North Devon becomes part of the Big Energy Saving Network (BESN).

361 Energy CIC are delivering a Big Energy Saving Network project, one of only two in Devon, on behalf of North Devon Homes.  The BESN was set up by the Department of Energy and Climate Change to help residents get a better deal on the energy bills and ultimately save money.

Advice sessions will be held for both residents and frontline workers to ensure that people know how to reduce energy use in the home and feel confident when shopping around for the best prices on gas and electricity.

To stay warm this winter, ‘Check, Switch and Insulate’

  • Check if there are better ways to pay your bills – direct debit or online could give discounts
  • Check that you are getting all that you are entitled to. If you are struggling to pay your bills you may be entitled to help from your energy supplier or additional benefits
  • Switch off. The average UK household is spending between £40 and £80 each year on appliances left on stand by.
  • Switch Energy Supplier. Are you getting the best deal?  Are you on the cheapest tariff with your current supplier or is there a better deal with a different company?  Make sure you have an accurate bill to hand and use an accredited comparison service.  Even pre-payment customers with a debt (up to £500) can switch supplies.
  • Make sure you home is fully insulated and draught-proofed.  You may be entitled to help with this.  This includes the Pioneer Places scheme which can offer grants of up to £7000 for External Wall Insulation.

The Energy Champions for the project are Nicola Corrigan and Paul Rogers, who between them will be advising 200 households and training 80 front line workers.  Paul recently visited a household in Ilfracombe and discovered they could save over £240 by changing their gas and electricity supplies from the standard variable tariff with one of the larger energy companies to a fixed rate tariff with one of the newer independent energy suppliers.

If you would like one to one advice on how you could reduce your energy bills or would like us to give a talk about this for your community group, please contact us at .  If your organisation works with householders and you would like a training session for your staff on ways to reduce energy bills please also email us and book a session.