Centre for Sustainable Energy
Supported by Somerset Council, the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) provides a free home energy advice line to all Somerset residents. The CSE provides expert advice on energy efficiency improvements, improving heating, lowering fuel bills and available financial assistance.
Phone: 0800 082 2234
With the rising cost of energy this year, the council has put together a list of the suggestions to help reduce your energy usage. Follow these simple steps to save energy in your home:
- Unplug appliances – turn electrical appliances off standby by switching them off at the wall where you can.
- Switch off lights – turn off lights when you’re not using them or when you leave a room.
- Replace old bulbs – when it’s time to change a lightbulb fit a low energy bulb in its place.
- Think before you fill – only fill your kettle with the water you need.
- Wash at 30ºC – wash your clothes at 30 degrees and, if you can, use one less cycle a week.
- Dry laundry outside – dry washing outside or on clothes racks rather than in a tumble dryer.
- Shower don’t soak – swap baths for short showers. Reduce showers by just 1 minute to save even more.
- Wait for a full load – only use your dishwasher and washing machine when they’re full.
- Keep out draughts – draught-proof your windows and doors and close curtains at night to keep the warmth in and the cold out
- Turn down your thermostat – turn your heating down by just 1 degree (if comfortable to do so) and cut heating bills by around 10%.
- Get a smart meter - smart meters show how exactly how much energy you are using in your home and what it’s costing you, helping you to make smart decisions about your energy use. Visit Smart Energy GB to find out whether you can get one fitted.
- Water pipes - pipe insulation is cheap and will keep your water hotter for longer! Find out more from Wessex Water.
- Doors and windows - draught-proof your doors and windows to keep the warmth in.
- Curtains - fit thermal linings to your curtains; you’ll feel warm and cosy and might be able to turn the heating down.
- Home improvements - consider installing loft or cavity wall insulation or upgrading your heating system. Grants towards improvements are sometimes available, find out how much you could save on the Energy Saving Trust website.
- Go renewable - switch to a green energy tariff
For advice on switching energy suppliers visit the Centre for Sustainable Energy website.
The Energy Company Obligation is a requirement placed on energy companies over a certain size to help improve domestic energy performance of the homes of those vulnerable to the cold or on low incomes. In the ECO3 phase there is a new additional facility called Flexible Eligibility. This is where the council can set criteria to direct assistance towards local private sector homes at risk of fuel poverty but falling outside of the normal rules of ECO – usually qualifying benefits.
Following guidance from the department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, the council can access flexible eligibility funds on the production of this Statement of Intent. This allows the council to set qualifying criteria to target residents at risk of from fuel poverty. Residents meeting these agreed criteria, subject to the council issuing a signed declaration and a favourable survey report may be assumed eligible by Energy Companies for ECO funded energy efficiency improvements.
The statement in the downloads section provides more information.