How can I reduce my energy use?

There are lots of easy things you can do to reduce your energy use whether that is not leaving things on standby, not filling the kettle for one cup of tea, reducing shower time, washing up in a bowl rather than under a running tap. Visit the Energy Saving Trust website for more top tips.

What is the Priority Services Register?

The energy companies all hold a Priority Services Register which offers extra help and support to households with some kind of vulnerability. This may be an elderly resident or someone with a disability or medical condition. Being on the register means that you would be prioritised should there be a power cut, you can request quarterly meter readings if you find it difficult to read the meters yourself and you can get free annual gas safety checks and protection from cold callers. To get onto the Register just call up your energy supplier.

What are smart meters and can I get one?

Between now and 2020 every household in the country will be offered a smart meter free of charge. These will put a welcome end to estimated energy bills as the energy company will be able to read your meter remotely. You will also receive an in-house display that shows you how much gas and electricity you are using at any one point in time. See here for more information

Can I get a grant to install solar panels?

There aren't any grants to install solar panels but in 2010 the government introduced its Feed-in Tariff scheme which incentivised solar panels by offering a payment for every unit of electricity generated by solar panels. This started at 43.3p per kWh for a typical domestic installation and led to a proliferation of companies offering to 'rent your roof' and to install solar panels for free - they kept the feed-in tariff and the household got free electricity. The Feed-in Tariff has gradually been reducing over time and is now 4.18p/kWh (until Dec 2016). This means that very few companies now offer 'free' solar panels. If you want to pay for it yourself then a typical domestic installation costs £5,000 to £8,000 and it will take around 20 years to recoup the costs. For more information visit the Energy Saving Trust website.

My smoke alarms aren't working, can anyone help me with this?

Contact the Fire Service and see whether they can offer you a free home fire safety check. If you live in North Yorkshire visit North Yorkshire Fire, if you live in Bradford or anywhere else in West Yorkshire click here.

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