Evie Keane always seemed to feel the cold at home. But after being diagnosed
with Raynaud’s in 2010, she realised that things needed sorting once and for all.
Things began when Evie received a letter from L&Q about a new programme to help residents save money. As an Estate Champion, she had been given the chance to trial L&Q’s EnergySave programme and help spread the word with other people in her area.
“The trouble with my house is that it is at the bottom of a cul-de-sac,” Evie says. “The wind whistles down the road between the houses on either side and straight at my front door. I’ve been told this is called a ‘wind tunnel’ effect. But to me, it just meant that I couldn’t get my house warm, no matter what.” When Evie received a letter from L&Q about a new programme to help residents save money on the fuel bills, she jumped at the chance. Evie started to follow the tips for each room in the house and saw a real difference
She was so impressed that she started circulating them around her office by email. “It wasn’t just me. My colleagues loved them too – they couldn’t wait for my next email to appear.” All the new tips and tricks had really help cut her bills, but didn’t take the chill off the house. “People told me to give up and move house, but I refused to believe that was the only answer,” Evie says. With a new determination, and armed with some online research, Evie found advice services offered by other companies, including British Gas, her own energy supplier. “British Gas were fantastic. They really helped me build on what I’d learnt. They installed a smart meter, which was great.”“But my number one tip is something a British Gas engineer told me. He said, ‘Leave your heating on all night at 16 degrees.”
Evie was shocked by this. “I said, ‘I’m not doing that, I can’t afford it.’ But he insisted that it would save me money and keep me warm.” It was against every instinct she had. But he explained how the boiler was heating her home up from scratch every morning, using more fuel than just letting it keep warm overnight – so she gave it a shot. “It seemed crazy, but he was right. The smart meter proved it.” With this one simple tip, she is no longer cold at night and wakes up each morning to a warm home – all the while saving money. “I pay by direct debit, so every year I get my final bill and see what I’ve really spent. This year, my final bill came in at -£300. I couldn’t believe it.” A bill where the energy company owes you money? That can’t be bad.
"Getting a smart meter was life changing
– I could see the effect of turning the iron
on or running the vacuum cleaner."