Training for your advisers

As part of the Big Energy Saving Network, WinACC is very pleased to be able to offer training to teams of advisers in the voluntary sector in the Winchester and Meon Valley areas.

Focused on how to deal with rising energy bills, our BESN Champion, Andy Smale, can provide tailored training and advice on the following subjects:

• Switching tariffs
• Moving from prepayment meters
• Clearing and keeping out of debt
• Warm home discount
• Priority services register
• Smart meters
• Energy efficiency in the home

A training session can be slotted in to meetings you already have planned or a stand alone event can be arranged. The emphasis can be tailored to the particular needs of your organisation.

All training is free of charge, but needs to take place before 30 March 2018.

For further information, please contact the WinACC office on 01962 827083.

Suppliers - the facts

Finding reliable suppliers

 One of the main challenges of upgrading the energy performance of your home is to find a supplier that you can trust.  Many suppliers can struggle to keep pace with all the changes in technology and government schemes and not all suppliers are as reputable as we would like them to be. 

This is a brief introduction to finding the right suppliers.

Please look here for

Do your research 
  • Look at Checkatrade to identify suppliers with high scores (9.9 or 10) and good feedback from clients.
  • Look at Buy With Confidence to identify local suppliers listed on this government-run initiative.
  • Ask for recommendations from friends, neighbours or colleagues who have had work done recently. Also people you know in related trades may be able to refer reliable colleagues.
Get quotes and references 

It’s a good idea to get a minimum of three quotes from suppliers so that you have a realistic idea of prices rather than relying on just one.  For bigger projects, ask to speak directly to previous clients.

Check qualifications 

Ensure any tradesperson has the requisite qualifications and approvals.  For example, anyone installing renewable energy systems must be registered under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) in order for you to claim subsidies once the system has been commissioned.



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News release: Give yourself up to £200 a year

Give yourself a Christmas or New Year present by saving up to £200 a year on your energy bills. The Big Energy Saving Network and Winchester City Council are supporting Winchester District residents to save energy, save money and stay warm this winter.

Photo of Andy Smale“It’s worth investing an hour or two of your time to save so much”, said Andy Smale of local independent adviser Expert Energy, one of the Big Energy Saving Champions.

Andy suggests using or the Which website to compare and switch energy tariffs in three simple steps. “You’ll need your gas and electricity bills to see what you are paying, and the site tells you if you might save money by switching tariff or energy company”, he said.

Citizens Advice Winchester District is also helping, so they tested the ‘cheap energy club’ tool on  to make sure it would be useful.  “I thought I may as well try it out for myself and see what it would mean for my home. I stand to save £189 per year and it only took me 9 minutes!” reported Natalie Webb . “It was so quick and easy, I would encourage everyone to follow my example and find out what you can save”.

“You can also save money and still be nice and cosy for Christmas if you keep the warm air in and the draughts out”, said Chris Holloway, director of Winchester Action on Climate Change.  “It costs nothing to put a cardboard over the inside of the letterbox, stuff old tights to stop draughts blowing under your door, draw your curtains as soon as the sun goes down, and switch the heating down half an hour before you go out or go to bed”. 

Anyone can contact Andy for helping to switch to cheaper energy or making their home warmer. Ring 01962 217844, text 07731 960320 or email Home-owners and private tenants can also get advice from Hitting the Cold Spots on 0800 804 8601 or email

Notes to Editors:

1. More information from Andy Smale on 01962 217844 or Chris Holloway from WinACC on 07779 283451.

2. Winchester Action on Climate Change (WinACC)'s Home Energy work is funded by Winchester City Council and the Big Energy Saving Network, a national £1 million programme from the Department of Energy and Climate Change to support eligible third sector organisations and community groups, deliver help and advice to vulnerable consumers.

3.WinACC works to cut the carbon footprint of Winchester district.  Its members include local residents, businesses and local government, working together to create a better future.  

4. WinACC runs regular meetings throughout the year to get the Winchester community engaged in climate change and lowering carbon emissions.

5.       Winchester Action on Climate Change Ltd is a company limited by guarantee in England and Wales with company registration no. 08013043. Our registered office is University of Winchester, Sparkford Road, Winchester SO22 4NR. We are also a registered charity in England and Wales with charity no 1150754.

Understanding your bill - the facts

It really helps if you understand your energy bill as this will help you to see where you can save money. Unfortunately, every energy bill is laid out differently, but don’t despair. 

The Which? website provides a handy list of the energy companies’ guides to their own bills:  

Here's a quick introduction to bills and how you can make changes to save money.

For more information please look at the following pages:

The main sections are:

Your tariff

The tariff is made up of two sections:

  • the price per unit of energy

  • any standing charge that is levied irrespective of how much energy you use.

The tariff that you are currently on should be clearly displayed on your statement. You will need this if you wish to put your current details into a price comparison website.

Your meter readings

On the statement, your meter readings are usually followed by one of three letters

  • A (for Actual) - an official meter reader has taken the reading. 

  • E (for Estimated) - the reading is an estimate based on previous consumption patterns. 

  • C (for customer) - you have supplied a reading yourself.  It’s a good idea to supply a reading yourself on a regular basis to avoid receiving  estimated readings which can result in your being in credit or debit until an actual reading is taken (this is required every two years). 

Your charges

What you owe depends on a combination of how much energy you used in the previous period, any standing charges that apply and any credit balance you already have.  You may also receive discounts (e.g. for dual fuel) which should be shown here.

You can claim your money back ( if your account is significantly in credit.

Your usage summary

Each statement provides details of how much energy you used measured in units of kilowatt-hours (kWh).  It also projects your usage and costs over the next 12 months. Use this data to understand how your consumption changes and on the energy comparison websites.


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Switch to renewable energy without any trouble

If installing your own solar roof isn't for you, don't do nothing – switch to an electricity supplier who sells renewable electricity. It really isn't difficult. "Much less hassle than changing banks", says Chris. The renewable energy suppliers usually don't have complicated tariff options that waste your time as you read the small print. So it's less hassle, less greenhouse gas emissions, and money for WinACC in one simple step - because when you switch, WinACC gets a reward.

Enter "Winchester Action on Climate Change" in the search box and click the link associated with WinACC to get it to us.

 Read all about the suppliers and how to switch.

For every household switching supplier, WinACC gets the following rewards:

Green Energy UK:

  • £30 per year, every year you’re signed up to electricity only tariffs. Choice of Pale Green or Deep Green tariffs depending on the renewables mix and price combination. And all sign-ups are entitled to 400 free shares in the company.

Good Energy:

  • £20 per year, every year, if you’re signed up on an electricity only tariff and £40 per year for a dual fuel tariff. The tariff is Good Energy's 100% renewables tariff as certified by the Green Energy Supply Certification Scheme**.

Cooperative Energy:

  • £20 per year, every year, you’re signed up. The energy mix is no coal and has <50% average carbon content of the Big 6.


  • £30 per year, every year, you’re signed up on an electricity only tariff and £40 per year for a dual fuel tariff. The tariffs are Ecotricity's "new energy" and "green gas" tariffs.

Click to switch.


It really helps if you understand your energy bill as this will help you to see where you can save money. Unfortunately, every energy bill is laid out differently, but don’t despair.  The Which? website provides a handy list of the energy companies’ guides to their own bills: 


There are no forthcoming events in this category at present. Please see the all events page for more.