With winter approaching and the temperature dropping, people living in County Durham are being invited to find out how to save money on their energy bills by taking part in a national event.
Big Energy Saving Week aims to help people save money by checking they are not paying too much for energy or missing out on benefits, as well as helping people switch energy suppliers and explaining how to save money by being more energy efficient.
And with free advice sessions taking place at locations across the county, now is the perfect time for people to find out just how much they could save.
The national week-long event, which begins on 26th October, is organised by Citizens Advice, with events planned locally by Durham Community Action.
Project Coordinator Liz Charles said: “ A key focus of our campaign is to encourage people to look at switching their energy provider – incredibly 6 out 10 people haven’t changed providers in the last 15 years and so could be paying much more than they need to. On average people save £250 a year by switching so it really is worthwhile.
“We are holding a number of events during the week and are working with a variety of local organisations to provide support and advice during the sessions.
“It is all completely free so we really urge people to come along, have a chat and find out more – there is nothing to lose and possibly lots to gain.”
Durham Community Action has teamed up with a number of local organisations including Durham County Council, housing associations such as Derwentside Homes, charities such as Age UK and Managing Money Better, which offers free home energy assessments.
Last year local people visiting Big Energy Saving Week events said they had found the advice very useful.
One woman saved £150 just by switching the type of account she had with her current supplier while another discovered she was entitled to the government’s Warm Home Discount, which meant she received a rebate of £140 from her energy supplier..
This year events are taking place in a wide variety of locations including food banks, supermarkets, community centres and even soft play centres, with the majority held between 26th and 31st October.
The following sessions have already been confirmed:
Tuesday 27th October, from 12pm to 3pm, at Brandon Food Bank, Brandon Community Centre.
Wednesday 28th October, from 9.20am to 11.30am at the One Point Centre Barnard Castle soft play session, Teesdale Leisure Centre, Strathmore Road, Barnard Castle.
Thursday 29th October, 10.20am to 12pm, at St Luke’s Church Hall, Ferryhill and 11am to 1pm, at Pelton Community Centre, Chester-le-Street.
Friday 30th October, 10am to 12.30pm, at Chester-le-Street Food Bank in the Parish Centre, Church Chare, Chester-le-Street and 1pm to 3.30pm, at Durham Food Bank, North Road Methodist Church, Durham.
For a full list of all the activities taking place as part of Big Energy Saving Week please visit www.durhamcommunityaction.org.uk
The organisations supporting this year’s event in County Durham are: Durham County Council, Advice in Co Durham, Age UK, CAB, Managing Money Better, Derwentside Homes, Durham City Homes, East Durham Homes, Dale & Valley Homes, The Monkey Project.