Support against any energy price rises

October 30, 2013 by  
Filed under Solar Energy Tips

Published by Liz Reeson for Two Rivers Housing
in Bill Payments

Wednesday 30th October 2013 – 12:08pm

A Gloucestershire housing association is urging people to support a national campaign that aims to reduce household energy bills for ever.

Two Rivers Housing is backing the Energy Bill Revolution’s call to Government to use the money it gets from carbon taxes to make our homes super-energy efficient – which cuts the amount we need to spend to keep warm and is good for the environment, too.

“Increasing energy prices are a real concern to us,” explained Matt Hunt, Director of Development and Asset Management at Two Rivers Housing. “Household budgets are under growing pressure, wages are unable to keep pace with inflation and key costs, such as energy, are increasing at a significant rate. Many people are finding it hard to cope now, and announcing these price rises just as the cold weather is about to start, will only add to the pressure.”

Matt noted the irony of the latest of the ‘Big Six’ energy providers declaring price increases ranging from 8.2% to 11.1% during Energy Efficiency Week. “The average energy bill for a Two Rivers home is £1,290 a year and this will now rise to around £1,400. Our homes are typically 23% more energy-efficient than the average so our tenants could be in a better position than many, but home-owners and those renting from private landlords will find their stretched household budgets are pushed to the limit.”

Two Rivers has invested heavily in upgrading heating systems in its existing homes (£614,000 spent in 2012/13) and incorporating energy-saving measures into all the new houses it builds. Its recently-completed regeneration project at Tufthorn Avenue in Coleford is a prime example, where energy-inefficient houses were demolished and replaced with homes fitted with modern gas boilers, low-energy light fittings and water-saving baths and toilets. Other Two Rivers schemes have solar panels installed.

“As a housing provider, we can help by providing quality, energy-efficient homes that people can afford to rent, buy and run,” said Matt. “We have done a lot to improve the efficiency of our homes but significant investment is needed to continue this work. We are working hard with partners to attract the necessary funds in an attempt to make this possible. Providers like ourselves need to carefully consider regeneration options and to develop more efficient homes, but we need the support of communities to achieve this.”

Two Rivers is urging people to do three things:

  • Sign up to Energy Bill Revolution’s campaign at .
  • Shop around for better energy prices and consider a fixed price tariff. There are organisations to help people navigate the confusing variety of tariffs, such as the National Housing Federation’s ‘My Home Energy Switch Service’ which is completely free to housing association tenants. On average, customers can save more than £70 on their energy bills. Call 0800 0014 706 or go to The Government advice line can also help – call 0300 123 1234 or look at .
  • Consider changing behaviour to use less energy and save money. There are many simple things we can do, for example:
    • Turning off appliances left on stand-by can save £55 – £90 per year.
    • Careful use of kitchen appliances (eg not over-filling the kettle) can save £55.
    • Energy-saving lightbulbs can save £60 per year.
    • Turning your thermostat down by 1oC can save £60.

More energy-saving tips can be found on the Energy Savings Trust website – and Public Health UK’s Cold Weather Plan.

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