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todayFebruary 23, 2021 10

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Donna felt like she was spending a fortune on electricity, but her home was still freezing. She did not know where to turn.

Donna is not alone in feeling like this.

There are 24,500 households in North Yorkshire living in fuel poverty. That’s 10% of the region’s population – families, older people, single mums, people from all walks of life – living in a home they cannot afford to heat adequately.

There are lots of reasons why people struggle to heat their home.

Sometimes energy companies seem to be constantly putting up their prices which the person just doesn’t feel they can afford. Sometimes they are on a very high tariff and don’t realise it.

It might be that the heating has broken and they don’t feel they can afford to have it fixed.

In these very difficult times with job and business losses and furlough, many people are financially struggling anyway, and it is a case of ‘should I get food on the table or heat in the home?’ And food on the table has to take priority.

But it doesn’t have to be like that. 

Warm & Well in North Yorkshire is a regional service which can help.

They have local experts who can talk to people directly, answer questions, assess their circumstance and crucially refer them to someone who can help.

One of the organisations they refer you to is the Yorkshire Energy Doctor. She hears time and time again that ‘it’s easy to switch energy tariffs’ but knows that is not always the case.

“Switching is not easy for everyone. Many people don’t understand their bills, some don’t have a computer and lots of people don’t know where to get the information needed to make such a switch.”

The Energy Doctor talks people through their options and helps them get the right deal.

Donna found her really helpful. Pre-covid, they sat down together with her laptop.

“She showed me different energy companies, different tariffs and talked me through them. We found a deal together and changed the way I pay from pre-payment to direct debit which was a cheaper option for me.”

The switch was quick, it was all done in a couple of hours and now Donna is saving £500 a year. She is still careful with her usage and monitors it, but now feels in control.

“I can put the heater on for longer. It’s brilliant.”

The Energy Doctor goes on to explain that people don’t realise that there is a lot of stress and anxiety around paying bills. Many individuals are worried about how to pay them and how to keep on top of them.

Bob was exactly in that position, he felt dealing with his bills was a mountain he couldn’t climb, and he found he couldn’t cope. The stress and worry were all-consuming.

Warm & Well in North Yorkshire introduced Bob to the Energy Doctor who came to visit him in his home and immediately alleviated his strain.

They helped him choose a cheaper tariff and changed his way of payment to a standing order.

“I no longer feel like they [the energy company] are on my back anymore. I can relax. I feel a lot better. I wake up in the morning and I don’t feel pressure.”

Importantly Bob felt very comfortable with the Energy Doctor and trusted her.

“She was very friendly and accommodating and genuinely wanted to help me.” 

Warm & Well in North Yorkshire have helped 100s of people across the region to heat their home in a way they can afford. On average a homeowner will save £200 a year, but many people save more.

They can also offer handy tips on money-saving changes you can make to your home and find grants you might be entitled to.

Bob’s final advice to people wanting some help is:

“Don’t be scared, it [getting Warm &Well involved] will change your life. They’ll tell you what to do, how to do it and someone will come directly to your home and sort it out for you. Hopefully you will get that stress and pressure taken off you.” 

If you are struggling with keeping your home warm this winter due to money worries, call Warm & Well in North Yorkshire on 01609 767555

Check this Youtube video out on how Warm and Well have supported Donna and Bob and how they can support others too:


Twitter: @warmwellnyorks

Facebook: @warmandwellnorthyorks

Written by: YO1 Radio Web Team

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