Jo Gilbert, the founding father of not-for-profit consumer champion CUBES (Customer Utility Bills Expertly Serviced), has previously faced making difficult financial decisions to remain afloat. In 1998, the only mother managed to get out of an abusive relationship but ended up having to survive on only £104 every week in advantages. With inflation and energy bills on the rise, the buyer expert is warning that many families will face the identical circumstances she needed to take care of as the price of living crisis worsens.
Speaking exclusively with Express.co.uk, Ms Gilbert explained: “After I was in fuel poverty, I wasn’t aware of any support available. It was a lonely, embarrassing, and isolating situation to be in.
“I used to be embarrassed to ask for help so I struggled and skipped meals or ate poorly.
“The one organisation I assumed I could turn to at that time was the Residents Advice Bureau, but that was for debt support, I didn’t know an excessive amount of about them.
“The web wasn’t as popular then.”
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Wanting to get out of poverty, Ms Gilbert began working just just a few hours every week at RWEN Power with a view to qualify for working tax credits.
After this she worked for 10 years at Npower and worked her way as much as becoming a project manager, eventually becoming an authority within the financial issues affecting consumers today in relation to their bills.
The financial expert is urging energy corporations to do more to mitigate the potential damage of future bill hikes.
She added: “At the least energy suppliers needs to be supporting consumers with income and expenditure assessments to find out affordability after which offering them a social tariff, payment breaks, significantly prolonged payment period for debt over years not months.
“The size of this issue is getting too big for it to be something energy suppliers alone can resolve. This really does need Government intervention and support.”
Earlier this week, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak promised a latest series of economic support packages to mitigate the impact of soaring inflation and energy bills.
Those in receipt of means-tested profit payments, reminiscent of Universal Credit, will probably be eligible for a one-off cost of living payment price £650.
Moreover, pensioners are set to mechanically receive a payment designed only for them which can come to £350.
She said: “Tip one: Wash your clothes within the cold setting. Washing detergent has advanced a lot over recent years that we not need to scrub our clothes at higher temperatures to get them clean. Should you make this small change to decide on the cold or no higher than 30 degrees setting when washing your clothes, you’ll lower your expenses.
“Tip two: Turn your water thermostat down just a few degrees. Should you end up adding cold water to your shower mixer tap or adding cold water whilst running a shower, you then can comfortably turn your water heat setting down just a few degrees.
“Tip three: Don’t leave appliances on standby Each time you allow an appliance on standby – slightly than switching it off on the plug – it continues to empty energy.
“Based on Energy Saving Trust research, between nine to 16 percent of the electricity consumed in homes is used to power appliances once they are on this standby mode. This wastage can add as much as £86 to an annual electricity bill.”