MP GETS READY FOR WINTER

Local MP, Caroline Dinenage visited the Getting Ready for Winter event with British Gas last week, to find out what support is available to ensure people are taking advantage of free help and support with energy bills.

British Gas offers many ways to help customers save money, such as alerting customers in their bills to any better tariffs for them. They allow customers to switch between tariffs without paying a penalty charge and offer flexible payment plans which enable customers to set and manage their own payments.

To keep an eye on energy usage, energy suppliers will be able to install a smart meter, meaning an end to estimated bills. British Gas customers are provided with online tools to help them manage their energy usage.

Constituents may also be entitled to extra support from the Government and their energy supplier if they meet certain criteria. Last year more than 700,000 British Gas customers in the UK received the Warm Home Discount - a one off discount of £140 on the electricity bill. The company has the broadest eligibility criteria of all energy suppliers. British Gas customers should call 0800 072 8625.

The British Gas Energy Trust is an independent charitable trust that offers advice and support for people who are struggling with their household bills. Since it was established in 2004, British Gas has provided £85million of funding to the Trust which has helped more than 176,000 people with debt advice and grants.

Gas appliances should be checked for safety every 12 months by a Gas Safe registered engineer. These important checks can detect a range of problems from boiler faults to gas leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Caroline said:

"It's really important to be prepared for winter and to promote what help is available. There are a number of simple steps that people can take to make sure they're doing all they can to keep their bills down and their home warm."

For more information on the British Gas Energy Trust, visit: www.britishgasenergytrust.org.uk.

For more information on booker checks, visit: www.britishgas.co.uk/homecare.