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Is now the time for an energy SOS?

24 October 2012

Today BIG welcomes a guest blog from the Energy Saving Trust, which is urging more people to ask for help to manage soaring energy costs. BIG remains committed to helping communities rise out of fuel poverty and live more sustainably. You can read more about our work in this area, here.

Help is a hard word to say for many – especially on this island of stoic pride. However, with continued financial problems across the UK, bills rising and more people feeling the strain, it could be a word that is uttered more and more.

Energy Saving Week

More people are struggling to pay their energy bills

This week is Big Energy Saving Week – a week devised by Citizens Advice Bureau, Energy Saving Trust and a host of partners to spread awareness of what people experiencing trouble managing their energy bills can do and where they can go to for help.

There’s a feeling among many that ‘help’ should not be sought unless things get truly desperate but this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case.

Asking for help early on can actually stop the problem from getting bigger and give you the peace of mind that whatever you’re experiencing can be dealt with effectively. In fact if we ask for help early on, it can prevent problems from escalating.

And there is help out there. It’s all about knowing where to go. As The Beatles famously sang: “Help! I need somebody. Help! Not just anybody.” This is where Big Energy Saving Week comes into play.

We’re aware that people, now more than ever, are struggling to pay their bills, and in a number of cases require help paying them. This could vary from actually asking friends and family for help or calling for help from an official source.

The idea of people feeling the economic pinch is a nationwide theme, so asking for help shouldn’t have a stigma of desperation attached to it.

Once people admit to needing help, what should be the next step? It’s all very well admitting there is a problem, but all too often people do not know where to go for help. Friends and family are a good starting point but where do you go after that? Contacting advice lines run by those “in-the-know” is often a good next step – a link to offers, subsidies, and the kind of advice that really works, long-term.

However, once help is sought, the onus is on the individual to take the advice onboard. So the overall message is that once you ask for help and receive advice, begin to help yourself. In the long-term helping yourself and doing the right things, all the time, will be the main way that you can achieve vital savings in spite of the much talked about ‘tough times.’

For help and advice about what you can do to help manage your energy bills, contact the Energy Saving Trust Advice Line on 0300 123 1234 or visit

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