Simple steps to help get you winter ready

Steve McCabe MP is calling on constituents to ensure they are taking advantage of the free help and support that could save them £315 on their energy bills.


Here are three simple steps that every constituent could take, to make sure they’re doing all they can to keep their bills down and their homes warm:


1.       Insulate your home: With an average of £1 in every £4 spent on heating wasted due to poor insulation, one of the best ways to keep energy bills down this winter is to insulate homes.  Loft insulation could save the average household around £180 per year, with cavity wall insulation saving up to £140 per year.  All of the big energy companies will provide some form of free energy efficiency, depending on your circumstances. In most cases you don’t even need to be a customer. British Gas has launched an online checker that’ll tell you if you qualify for free home insulation and can be found here:


2.       Get the best deal: Check that you are on the best gas and electricity tariff to suit you.  There are lots of deals and fixed prices to help you keep control of the costs.  Households should contact their supplier, whoever they are, and make sure they are getting the best deal.  British Gas has introduced ‘Tariff Check’ – a personalised half-yearly review for its customers, using their actual energy consumption.  British Gas is the first major supplier to offer this service and has also removed exit fees for those wishing to switch to between British Gas tariffs.


3.       Financial support: Constituents may be entitled to extra support from the Government and their energy supplier if they meet certain criteria.  British Gas has the widest eligibility criteria of all the major suppliers for the Warm Home Discount Scheme, meaning that more than 500,000 British Gas customers will receive a rebate of £135 on their energy bill in winter 2013/14. To make sure you’re in receipt of all the benefits you’re entitled to, British Gas customers should call 0800 072 8625.


Steve McCabe MP said:  “I want all my constituents to be ‘Winter Ready’ and it can be difficult to understand what extra help is available.  This simple advice is designed to help people see how they can cut energy use and help keep bills under control this winter.  I am going to be out on Saturday 9 November talking to constituents about Labour’s plans to freeze energy bills and I will make sure that constituents also know about other ways they can save money on their bills.”






Help and advice from British Gas:

  • Free or subsidised insulation – 0800 084 1930  ECO is an obligation placed on suppliers to reduce carbon emissions by improving the energy efficiency of homes in Britain. Constituents can see if they’re eligible to receive free insulation under ECO by visiting
  • Free insulation and £50 worth of vouchers – 0800 691 1745
    • Your constituents will receive £50 worth of Marks and Spencer vouchers for referring anyone on qualifying benefits who are in need of free insulation. As well as getting free insulation the person referred will receive £50 too – and they don’t even have to be a British Gas customer.
  • £135 rebate on vulnerable customers’ electricity bills – 0800 072 8625 | 0800 294 8604 (PAYGE customers)
    • The WHDS offers eligible customers a one-off payment on their electricity bill. For winter 2013/14 this will be £135. British Gas has further announced that it will place an additional benefit to these customers of £60 this winter, giving them a total of £195 in support. British Gas uses the widest set of criteria of all the energy suppliers in determining eligibility. Constituents who don’t receive electricity from British Gas should contact their electricity supplier for more information.
  • Grants from the British Gas Energy Trust – 01733 421 060
    • The Trust helps individuals in poverty, suffering and other distress through one-off grants for energy and other household priority debts. The average grant is around £530.
  • Benefits Entitlement Checks – 0800 882 200
    • We can help constituents assess if they are in receipt of all the benefits they are entitled to and can advise them of next best action if not claiming entitlement.
  • Dedicated support teams for vulnerable customers – 0800 072 8625 | 0800 294 6904 (PAYGE)
    • Our dedicated support teams help vulnerable customers requiring support with bills and energy efficiency advice. Our teams can discuss a variety of services including Warm Home Discount Scheme, Priority Services Register, alternative format communications, meter moves, free gas safety checks and much more.


Help and advice from other organisations:

  • Home Heat Helpline – 0800 336 699
    • Advice for constituents on how to access support from their energy supplier, including free insulation and the Warm Home Discount.
  • Winter Fuel Payment Helpline – 08459 151 515:
    • Provided by the government, the Winter Fuel Payment is a tax free payment to help older people keep warm during winter. If constituents were born on or before 5 July 1951 they may qualify. It’s not means tested and they can get if they’re still working or claim a benefit.
  • Energy Saving Trust – 0300 123 1234
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