Leap Energy Expert Answers Kent Residents’ Energy Efficiency Questions

Home Energy Advisor Field Manager for LEAP, Mark Hillyard recently joined John Butt on West Kent Radio to talk about the practical and financial help provided by LEAP, to help Kent residents live more comfortably and to save money on energy bills.

You can listen to the full interview here; here are some highlights.

What we do is we give day to day energy advice. We can arrange for free telephone advice for benefits, debt, and other money problems. And we can refer for further energy efficiency improvements, such as loft insulation, or a new boiler.

We also go into great depths about your energy bills, looking at how you use your energy and efficiency within the home itself.

What to expect on an energy advice call

During the telephone call it would last around about 45 minutes. To begin with, we’re beginning to get to know about yourself, how you use your heating, and we talk about your loft insulation, cavity wall and how you heat your home; do you feel warm in your property?

We talk about your windows and doors; what are they made of? Do you have any draughts? We provide simple energy efficiencies; it could be something as simple as having heavy lined curtains at your windows.

We are able to fit simple energy energy efficiency items within the property. We’ve got -draught proofing for wooden doors, wooden windows, which we can send out so that they can be installed by yourself.

“At the moment, it’s really, really tough out there with energy bills, as high as they are. So advice is free”.

In the second part of the call, we’ll be talking about your heating. What type of boiler have you got? How do you use your heating controls? Can you use them? If you’ve got an immersion tank, how do you use that?

We’re looking at ways of really drilling down to try and help you to reduce your energy costs, which is really, really important at the moment. So, we will spend a long section of time actually going through that kind of thing. And then after that, we will start talking about your energy bills. Do you struggle with your energy bills? We will be drilling down into that to see why, and how we can have efficiency savings actually with that.

We talk about the energy price cap. We talk about the Priority Service Register. We talk about whether you would be entitled to the water company’s social tariff and if it’s needed, we can pass you on to another service where you can receive a phone call where we can make sure that you’re on the correct state benefits.

Energy saving tips

We talk about energy saving, things like the very basics, which we’ve all known for many, many years.

  • If you wash your clothes at 30 degrees instead of 40 degrees, you will save up to 40 percent on your electricity every time you use your washing machine.
  • Only boil the kettle, with as much water that’s needed.
  • Turn lights off when they’re not being used.
  • Changing from the old fashioned 40w glass bulbs to a 9w bulb will save you roughly £10 per bulb per year.
  • Dry your clothes outside; try not to use the tumble dryer unless you need to.
  • Avoid using standby mode on electrical devices like the television.
  • Reducing showering time just by one minute can make a difference.

Applying for LEAP support

You are eligible if you are on low income, receive tax credit or housing benefits, receive income or disability related benefits, or have a long term illness or disabilities.

We give day to day energy efficiency hints and tips, to ensure your heating system is set up to keep warm and energy efficient. We can arrange for a free telephone advice service to help with benefits, to make sure that you’re on the correct benefits to help with debt and other money problems. We can send out free simple energy saving measures.

We will also look at your energy tariffs, and we will see if there are any savings that we can create, so we would look at your boiler, how you use your heating controls, whether you’ve got problems with condensation, damp, and mould, and we will tailor the discussion that we have, to you, individually.

We will also look at things like cavity wall or loft insulation, to see if there’s anything else that we can do.

What we’re doing is looking at energy and efficiency in a holistic way within your property.

We’re a small team of dedicated people; we really, really want to help as many people as we can with energy advice, and ways of saving money. That’s what we are there for.