NSMW 2023 - Energy
National Student Money Week is a campaign run by the National Association of Student Money Advisers (NASMA). NASMA has released an abundance of useful information and resources which Student Funding Suppoer have collated together for you below. We've also included some additional useful resources that we have found and think will be useful for students!
Understanding Your Energy
Understanding your energy is very important and the first step to this is to understand how much energy you use. NASMA have put together a simple How To Read a MeterLink opens in a new window document which demonstrates how to read both a gas and an electricity meter.
Once you have an understanding of how much energy you use, it can be useful to be aware of your appliance's running costs so that you can be more mindful about using them. For a table of average costs per hour, as well as an explanation of how to calculate the costs of your appliances, check out the Save the Student article, How Much Does Energy Cost Per HourLink opens in a new window.
Following this, to better understand your energy bills and charges, check out the following article from Money Saving Expert, Energy Bills ExplainedLink opens in a new window. This article includes example bills from common providers and breaks down the associated jargon into straightforward language.
If you want to find out more about energy direct debits and check that you are paying the right amount, check out Money Saving Expert's Energy Direct Debit HelpLink opens in a new window.
Make sure you keep up to date with the latest news about energy prices so that you can budget and plan. Money Saving Expert is a good website for this and they have explained the changes that are due to come into effect in April 2023 in their article Energy Prices Due To Rise by 20% From April As Government Announces Scaled Back Support For Households From Next SpringLink opens in a new window.
How To Save Money On Your Energy
You may be wondering whether you are getting the best deal with your supplier. If you are considering switching energy suppliers you can use websites such as Money Supermarket - Energy ComparisonLink opens in a new window to compare plans and rates.
There are lots of small changes you can make to try to reduce your energy consumption (and therefore costs too!). NASMA have created infographics with energy-cutting tips and estimates of how much you could save per year. Our favourites of these tips are:
- Do not leave appliances on standbyLink opens in a new window (Electricity Energy Saving Tips)
- Drop your thermostat down by 1 degreeLink opens in a new window (Heat Energy Saving Tips)
- Reduce your showers to 4 minutesLink opens in a new window (Water Energy Saving Tips )
For even more tips you may want to check out the following articles:
- Save the Student: 17 Energy Saving Tips To Save Money on BillsLink opens in a new window
- Gov.UK Help For Households: Energy Saving Tips to Save MoneyLink opens in a new window
If you have a smart meter, you may even be able to get paid or earn credit towards your bills by reducing your energy consumption during certain hours. For more information, check out this section of a Save the Student article, Getting Paid To Reduce Your Energy UsageLink opens in a new window.
Support With Your Energy Costs
You may have heard about or are already receiving the £400 Energy Bill Rebate. Save The Student has broken down how this £400 Energy Bill RebateLink opens in a new window affects students in different situations (e.g., those living in halls and those with a private landlord) and also explains how you will receive it. If you are renting from a private landlord and want assistance in understanding your housing contract in relation to the energy rebate, you can contact the SU Advice CentreLink opens in a new window for support. It's important to note, you do not need to directly apply for this rebate, so avoid any scam texts/emails/phone calls you may get trying to trick you into this.
If you are struggling to pay your energy bills and have become in debt due to this, you could consider contacting your energy supplier for support. Some energy suppliers may be able to provide financial help or even help you set up a realistic payment schedule. Suppliers will offer different forms of assistance and will likely have different criteria you will need to meet to be eligible, check out the following article section from Save the Student, Financial Support From Energy SuppliersLink opens in a new window, for more information on the support available from specific suppliers. If your supplier isn't listed, check out their web pages and get in touch with them to find out what support they can offer you in your situation.