"I didn’t think 1,000th caller competitions existed!"

One internet search and one free call is all it took ...

13 September 2012

"My parents 'ummed' and 'ahhed' about getting loft insulation for years, but they always made excuses for not getting it done – despite my nagging. They thought it would be too much hard work."

When Elaine Savage finally called CSE's free and impartial energy advice line last month to find out about the opportunities for loft insulation in her parent's Somerset house, she did so after trying for years to persuade them to do it.

"I told them that it wouldn't cost them anything," Elaine explained. "I said there were grants and so forth, and that it would be quite a simple job – even though their house is quite large. In the end the job just took about two and a half hours to do. And afterwards it was just a case of me going around with the vacuum cleaner to clean up, mainly where he [the installer] had carried the bundles through."

Elaine decided to take on sorting out the insulation herself, after the house came into her possession. One quick search for "insulation" on the internet and up popped CSE. One free call to our Home Energy Team later and Elaine found herself the 1,000th caller of our advice line since we launched it in April.

"I feel like a bit of a fraud, really," said Elaine after she was presented with an electricity monitor for being caller number one thousand. "I just found you on the internet and gave you a call. "I didn't think these 1,000th caller competitions really existed!"

Electricity monitors could help people save up to 20% on their electricity bill.

CSE launched it's own independent, local energy advice line in April this year and since then calls have been streaming in, with questions about energy bills, fuel debt, renewable energy, grants and energy efficiency advice. CSE has been providing free, local and impartial energy from its advice centre for more than 30 years and in that time, we reckon we've provided energy advice to thousands of people.

Sadly, Elaine's parents aren't around to enjoy the lower bills and the warmer home that having the insulation installed would have meant.

"My parent's house is currently uninhabited, so whilst I received grants towards some of it, around £300, I also had to pay a good chunk of it myself. Of course it would have been free if they'd got it done whilst they were still alive."

After discovering more about energy saving, Elaine has asked for further help from CSE on work she is considering for her own home, which is in north Bristol.

"I have these hanging tiles on the front of my house which seem to be causing a lot of heat loss and I'd like to find out more about how I can insulate behind them," she explained. "I have a boiler, too, which is around 20 years old, so I wonder whether there is an opportuntiy to replace it. I'm also at the very early stages of investigating solar panels for my roof, which faces due south and isn't overlooked. But that's a long way off yet."

Having loft and cavity wall insulation installed is actually easy. Just call CSE's Home Energy Team free on 0800 082 2234 or email home.energy@cse.org.uk.

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