Here is an interesting question; would you like to make a financial donation to a giant energy company of your choice? Would you like to take £300 for instance, out of your own pocket, and donate it to the company that supplies your household or business energy?I think your natural answer to both of these questions will be something like ‘no chance’ – but that’s what 70% of people in the Highlands and Islands are effectively already doing. Are you one of them? Are you lining the pockets of energy companies with your own hard-earned cash?
Let me explain. One of my pledges in being elected to office is to do something about fuel poverty. I believe there are a number of ways to do that but the great majority of all constituents can immediately cut fuel costs through one simple action – switching your energy supplier.
It’s simple to do and you can save an average of £337, a potential saving that is at its highest level in seven years. Energy companies are giving miserly cuts to existing customers and much cheaper tariffs to the new customers they’re trying to entice. It means that consumers across the UK are paying an eye-watering total of £3.3billion over the odds for their energy – and some of that money is probably yours.
Unfortunately, recent figures support this assumption. They show that the national average for people not switching their energy supplier sits at 45%, but in the Highlands and Islands that figure is much higher, with 70% of people here not taking advantage of energy supply switching.
When I heard these figures it seemed such an obvious thing to do, but realised hadn’t switched my energy supplier either. I was really surprised to find, when I did that the saving was substantial compared to my (now former) supplier. So I will continue to lobby Government and energy providers to deliver fairer deals, but this is something positive which consumers can do for themselves right away. Think how useful that extra money could be to you, and how it might help with other bills.
The message is getting out there – switching of energy suppliers rose by 15% in 2015. I’ve recently seen examples such as one woman made an annual saving of £1,117 per year whilst another saved £813 on her gas and electric.
So I’m asking you now to join my fuel poverty fight. You can visit this website for impartial advice: www.uswitch.com/gas-electricity/ or call them on 0808 2567151. You will save money and it could literally be hundreds of pounds.
Now, if you want to help my fuel poverty fight further, I need you to do just one other thing – please visit www.drewhendrymp.scot and use the contact form to tell me how much you saved – and let me know your result. Although I will not identify anyone individually, if we can demonstrate how much can be saved then it can help to bolster the fuel poverty fight. In this era of austerity, there is the opportunity to reduce costs instead of income. I urge everyone to take advantage of this opportunity and to get the word out to others who can reduce their bills and make life a wee bit easier.