South Tynesiders urged to make energy savings this Christmas

SouthTyneside Citizens' Advice Bureau chief executive Ian Thompson.
SouthTyneside Citizens' Advice Bureau chief executive Ian Thompson.

A consumer champion is calling on people in South Tyneside to cut down on costs this Christmas – by turning up the heat on energy suppliers.

The borough branch of the Citizens’ Advice Bureau (CAB) has signed up to a national energy-saving scheme to ensure a Merry Christmas doesn’t turn to misery when gas and electricity bills are popped through the door.

“People are missing out on huge savings.”

Paul McCard, Energy Champion

South Tyneside CAB has recruited its own energy champion to serve up an early festive gift in the form of savings after joining up with the nationwide Energy Best Deal Extra project.

The initiative aims to slash energy bills and improve consumer understanding of their heating needs.

Paul McCard, CAB’s energy champion for the North East, said: “Our own research has shown that over 74% of our clients have never changed their energy supplier or not changed in the last five years.

“As a result they are missing out on huge savings that could be made on their household bills by taking advantage of cheaper deals on the market”.

Philip Sellwood, chief executive of Energy Saving Trust, added: “Rightfully, millions of householders are confused by their heating controls because, let’s be honest, it is a bit of a minefield.

“We are urging customers to learn about the myths, check their tariff, switch suppliers and insulate their homes.”

Ian Thompson, CAB chief officer, said “We are looking to develop our energy project and save our residents significant amounts of money, most of which can be re-directed into the local economy.

“We are working closely with the borough’s Fuel Poverty Partnership led by the Council and hope to add to the work currently being undertaken by this committee and its constituent members”.

If you would like to arrange an appointment with the CAB’s energy champion, either call into the bureau or call 07949 490785.

Further information is also available by calling the Energy Saving Advice Service (England and Wales) on 0300 123 1234.


• ‘You should turn the heating up when it’s cold outside’: Half (52%) turn the thermostat up when it’s cold outside.

A home shouldn’t need this as the thermostat is there to maintain the home temperature whatever the weather.

• ‘Turn up the thermostat to heat the room quicker’: Over a third (35%) 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.

• ‘Leave the heating on low constantly’: Thirty-eight per cent think it is more energy efficient to leave the heating turned on at a low temperature constantly, rather than turning 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 it.

• ‘Keep electric storage heaters on all the time’: Our research also found that few people with electric storage heaters fully understand how they work (only 38%).

This means that households with electric heating could be paying through the nose by not taking advantage of cheaper night rate electricity.