‘Heat & Eat - fight the cost of living crisis’ is our newly-launched community campaign in conjunction with our other sister titles across JPI Media and aims to highlight the current heating or eating dilemma, created by rising food and fuel prices.
The Yorkshire Energy Doctor was established in 2014 and is a Community Interest Company (C.I.C.) based in North Yorkshire.
They offer people advice on reducing household energy costs, provide home energy visits to advise on different ways to help make heating a home more affordable, give information on managing energy costs and provide fuel poverty training for local organisations.
Dr Kate Urwin, who founded the Yorkshire Energy Doctor, said: “We have been supporting households with their fuel costs for eight years and these are undoubtedly some of the toughest times.
“We have taken phone calls from people of all ages, from young parents who are already choosing between heating and eating, elderly residents who are lying in bed at night worrying about how they are going to pay their bills, and people who have said that they have to prioritise money for fuel to get to work but then have no money to top-up their gas meter.
“It is also really worrying given how cold homes can seriously impact many people’s physical health and mental well-being.
“For the first time this winter switching energy supplier does not generate savings, so we have been focusing on helping people to save energy in the home and access grants towards paying their bills.”
Kate suggests a number of practical things people could do to manage their energy costs as part of the ‘New Year Utility Bill Health Check’ and these include:
- Don’t rely on your energy company to read your meter - give them readings today and get an up-to-date balance on your account and you can check whether your direct debit payments are too low or too high;
- Get a smart meter - this keeps your bills accurate and can provide you with a monitor to help you to understand your energy use and find other ways to make savings;
- If you have a child under five, a pensioner or someone with a physical or mental health condition, then make sure you are on the Priority Services Register with your energy company so they can offer services to meet your needs;
- Remind yourself of all the things that you can do around the house to save energy - don’t leave things on standby, part-fill the kettle, turn off lights in empty rooms and reduce the time that is spent in the shower to save money.
Kate also urges concerned residents to reach out and make the most of local support services that are available.
She added: “We are lucky in this area to have the Warm and Well North Yorkshire project, a partnership of local organisations that can offer advice and support to anyone across the county who is struggling.”
If you need help and advice, you can contact Kate Urwin directly by emailing [email protected] or call 01757 249100.
You can visit https://www.yorkshireenergydoctor.org.uk/ for advice, tips and more information about saving energy at home.