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‘Big Energy Vision’ collaboration kicks off

Wide range of organisations come together to help give consumers more control over rising energy costs

The Big Energy Event: Use less, Waste less, Pay less

The Big Energy Vision: Use less, Waste less, Pay less

Yesterday saw the launch of The Big Energy Vision, a collaboration between uSwitch, B&Q, John Lewis, Citizens Advice and other UK leading businesses, charities and not for profit organisations, aimed at helping households take control of their energy bills.

The goal of this unique collaboration is for this selection of organisations to work together to highlight positive, practical actions that people can take to bring down their utility bills.

The group’s vision is to get consumers to use less, waste less and pay less for their energy.

Promoting positive actions to help cut bills

The move comes at a time when rising energy bills are the number one financial concern for households. Yet many feel they are unable to do anything about it.

To combat this, members of The Big Energy Vision will help consumers understand the options available to them. These include better insulation in their homes, using more energy efficient appliances and switching to cheaper energy tariffs.

The organisations behind The Big Energy Vision acknowledge it will take time to change the mind-set of many consumers, but are committed to the long term success of the initiative.

‘Taking control of our energy has never been more important’

Speaking on the collaboration, Steve Weller CEO of uSwitch said: “It’s very important for us to help households save energy and pay less for what they use. With bills predicted by Citigroup to be 20% higher by 2020, taking control of our energy has never been more important.

“uSwitch is committed to a long term collaboration with these trusted brands to help shift public awareness and perception that they can take positive steps to reduce rising energy bills.”

Who’s behind The Big Energy Vision?

Organisations taking part in The Big Energy Vision include uSwitch, Kingfisher (B&Q), John Lewis, Home Retail Group (Homebase and Argos), National Trust, Citizens Advice, Calor, Energy Saving Trust, TrustMark, Energy UK, UK Green Building Council, Global Action Plan, Willmott Dixon, and Groundwork.

The initiative is being run by not-for-profit organisations Forum for the Future and Behaviour Change.

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  • jo cynical

    Would it be reasonable to assume that once people use less energy then suppliers will increase their tariffs to maintain profit. Hence the exercise becomes self defeating for individuals but perhaps better for the planet.

    • BeSmart

      Ok, so if YOU used less, your supplier will start charging YOU more? Your own personal tariff? No of course not. Stop being cynical and save yourself money. Be smart!

      • Dan Zamoyski

        Very sadly, if you analyse Energy Used versus Cost of that Energy, it does show that the cost/per kilowatt or calorie/Btu paid by consumers and businesss is actually rising. This is why the government decided that the Energy Supply Cartel is NOT working in the consumers’ favour, and hence the current full-blown review.

      • Ady

        Yes, as with any company it has a duty to it’s shareholders to maximise profits which in turn means getting more from the end user. If everyone starts using less power through frugal methods and better insulation/A rated appliances, etc. The energy firms will hike prices to compensate for the lower income.
        It is simple profit margin driven economics.

      • jimro

        crap be smart.
        every single year I’ve been with n power, dual tariff, I’ve been in credit and every year they try to increase my tariff.

        • BeSmart

          Why don’t you pay by variable direct debit. Pay monthly for what you use?

        • L to tha U to tha K to tha E

          why dont you not be with n-power as they are the worst company on the planet? cant even send paper bills , send fake dept collection letters , cant read metres , change people metres to PP from credit after a dept that doesnt exsist , resived the most complaints in the big 6 , just an aweful company , I’ve never been with n-power, never will. ditch N-Power get a real provider

    • Brian

      I agree with you totally, I am very prudent about the energy we use, have solar panels, cavity wall insulation, loft insulation, very good combi-boiler, Scottish power recently wanted to double my monthly direct debit payment. Greedy energy companies will always be GREEDY no matter what you do to reduce your carbon foot print. Profits matter not people.

      • BeSmart

        Scottish power also doubled my DD, this time last year. 6months later I was in credit by the amount they increase my DD. I moved supplier to variable DD.

  • dave462

    lets buy some energy saving bulbs from b and q oh! thats more income for u switch who i tried to use once found absolutely useless and vowed never to use again

    • mark

      yet here you are commenting. no one cares mate! If you didn’t find something useful doesn’t mean everyone else does. I’ve saved over £200 when I switched. Its a free service, no one’s forcing you to use it! don’t like it? go somewhere else instead of being a bitter little man

      • peter

        I think dave is 6foot tall

  • David B

    The article on energy-saving light bulbs seems a couple of years out of date. Most if it is about CF bulbs. LEDs are mentioned as a future prospect. LEDs are far more efficient, and are good right now. If this section of the site is out of date, can I trust the rest?

    • CynyC

      The majority of LED bulbs do not last anywhere near as long as they claim on their packaging. This means they cost much more than stated over the long term when compared to other types

    • Michele Martinelli

      Hi David,
      Can you let me know which article you’re referring to?

  • loretta

    I am in the process of changing to Daligas and don’t see any mention of them in the lists? Is it a dangerous move for me?

  • Michael Newlands

    can I get one without a standing charge as do not use gas 6/7 months of the year

    • t

      Ebico dont have a standing charge, I have been with them for a few years now they are fine no problems

      • Michael Newlands

        thanks for that will try

    • Michele Martinelli

      Hi Michael,
      There are some suppliers who offer plans with £0 standing charges – you can find them listed here – – as well as some advice on switching to a plan with no standing charges.

      Hope that helps.

  • gelanda

    which companies are offering solar panels for reasonable prices; which companies offer better support people with disabilities, as my existing package is up for renewal, which companies are offer reasonable tariffs for people with disabilities; I am told I am entitled to some kind of discount if on disability/benefits? are all organisations doing this?

    • john

      Yes. My bill was 55 pounds per month with two regular adults but one away a lot a water metre alloes me to pay 12.50 pounds. But carefull usage imperative. Big family its tough reducing bill. After a year on metre you cannot change it. Some friends with active youths pay 80-100 per month on water metre… careful.

  • gelanda

    What about water meters? have anyone saved money by using water meters?

    • S. Williams

      My water bill was over £40 a month. I changed to a metered supply and now pay £17.50 – so well worth doing. The guide is if there are more bedrooms than people in the house you will probably save

    • Michele Martinelli

      Hi gelanda,
      You can find out whether switching to water meter makes sense for you here –


  • john

    I am writing to explain a few minor things I have done to balance the high gas and electric costs. I don’t suggest my example should be followed. The companies seem to need to get 500 pounds from each household half of which is standing charges. Minimum that is When short of cash I use a propane camp cooker which I hope is legal reducing use of electric oven and rings, very expensive in daytime. Also often instead of 40-60 watt eco bulbs in kitchen and bedroom I switch on a 20 watt computer light for a few hours instead.
    Gas central heating can be used manually. Switch on when needed. During May – September hardly ussed at all except when rainy, to keep damp away.
    Double curtains, thick curtains external doors, Hat on cold nights and some jumpers readily available.
    It is difficult to reduce bills.Paid 120 pounds oer month, now 70 pounds. House is colder. Lighting lower……but not dangerous. Watch a little less tv. Maybe helps with carbon footprint. Best wishes to anyone else cutting usage because of expense. Bless those who are well funded and still cut usage.
    Bye for now. John.

  • ken willows

    There seems to be many concerns that by using less the Energy Comapnies will increase prices to maintain profits. How do we combat that possibilty??

    • BeSmart

      Use less than the average reduction. Go off grid.

  • Bel-Shammaroth

    Government policies are designed to make energy and housing much more expensive than they need be. This is a betrayal of the people in order to provide rentier profits for vested interests.

  • Adrian Elward

    Just so glad we had the woodburner with a boiler sleve fitted,hot hot water when its alight and the upstairs radiators heat on gravity..heaven..Our last showed we used 627.04 kwh of gas … on the last bill it showed a KWH equaled a cooked breakfast for a family of 4 or 2 hours heating…so thats a mix of 600 hours of heating and 1200 breakfasts…. amazing I want to find out who uses our home when we are out … Only my wife and I live here… the back up boiler has not been on since May… ???? I would love an answer from BG. or are they afraid…….

  • Pops

    I had major problem with EDF after they changed our electric meter. Said i owed over £1200. I paid some, but got nearly £1000 wiped off, as the clock on the meter was out by 5hrs. As we are on a cheaper nght rate (after 9pm) we would have to wait until 2am to do washing etc. So check you meter is correct.
    As a result i got £25 knocked off my monthy d/d, but that is now going up to nearly £90…

    • BeSmart

      Change it to variable direct debit. Pay what you use.

  • Pops

    Water meters can be a BIG saving, unless like my friend you have a leak.

  • Jo Ganley

    I find this disgusting it’s another way for uSwitch to make money claiming its for charity and non profit purposes. Everytime you switch they get a commission, like Martin Lewis said on his site.
    uStink! USwitch!!!!!!!!!!!

  • dave

    Confused what’s this doing for me ?

  • MrsP

    We are all probably already using less energy but we still pay more due to the excessive price increases. It just isn’t fair.

  • Del

    I believe in using energy effectively this includes reducing heat loss just because you have loft insulation does not mean you have the right amount get it checked and have a free energy health check. If you have a boarded loft on top of you insulation causing it to be squashed then that is not doing the job properly and causing it to be inefficient.

  • Noel

    I am on LPG and this market seems left to it’s own devices without any regulation or the benefit of U Switch. Anyone else being ripped off by these supplliers?

  • Pete

    I have recently had small led lights fitted in my kitchen and bathroom. Do I put the loft insulation back over this equipment. It is obvious I am losing heat by having no insulation