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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Charity Urges Families to Seek Support With Energy Bills Over School Holidays

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Families could save up to £200 on yearly energy bills with some helpful hints on how to bring costs down as the school spring break begins, a charity has said.

Anxious parents facing higher energy costs over the school break have been encouraged to seek advice and support from Children 1st.

It comes as the Ofgem energy price cap is set to fall by 12% to £1,690 from Monday 1 April.

But Children 1st say bills remain high for many of the families they work with, and, despite the fall, there will not be an automatic reduction in energy costs for households.

Some families may be feeling anxious about higher bills generated with children spending more time at home, using more electricity, heating and having to buy more food.

Through Children 1st’s dedicated financial wellbeing team, practical support is at hand for parents feeling the pinch this Easter.

Specialist advisors can help families to speak to their energy suppliers about any debt issues and look at other ways to lower bills through energy saving advice.

The team noticed a huge increase in the number of parents who were coming to them with specific concerns relating to energy and utilities, with some even self-disconnecting due to rising costs.

Sinead Haddow, senior financial wellbeing advisor at Children 1st said:

“With the spring break now upon us, we know that many families will be feeling the pinch with the added costs of kids being at home more.

“It has been a really hard year for so many of the families we work with as costs continue to rise at a rate many of them are struggling to keep up with.

“We are also keen to offer people energy saving tips that will really help reduce bills such as encouraging all family members to turn lights off if they’re not needed and ensuring they are only filling kettles with as much water as they need.

“This could save the average family £25, we estimate.

“Reducing your washing machine temperature to 30 degrees, avoiding the use of a tumble dryer and swapping children’s baths for showers could also help reduce costs.

“This could save families more than £50 a year.

“Parents could also save £100 per year on bills with every degree cooler they turn their thermostat down.

“Our Children 1st Parentline service is the initial point of contact for parents feeling anxious or stressed about their situation.

“Our advisors are there to listen and can then direct you on to our financial wellbeing team for further support if required.

“We want parents to know that they are not alone during the school holidays and we are there to help.”

Parents who are feeling anxious or stressed can call Children 1st Parentline free on 08000 28 22 33 or browse our website for advice and support, or start a webchat at: 

https://www.children1st.org.uk/help-for-families/parentline-scotland/

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