As a horse-owning, working mum-of-two with a holiday let business to run, the last thing on Zoe Ensor’s ‘to do’ list is scrutinising her energy bills.
She moved in to her Grade II listed farmhouse in the Peak District National Park in 2002 and for convenience, stuck with the same electricity supplier as the previous owner.
She explained: “I was heavily pregnant with my son Oliver when we moved so what with the unpacking, working full time and expecting my first child, I never even gave the electricity a second thought. As long as the lights came on, I didn’t think about where the power was coming from.”
And she also admits she didn’t keep an eye on the tariff. “I was aware of the £150 debit going out of my account to Npower every month but nothing beyond that.
I glanced at my bill before filing it and if I ever saw or read anything about energy in the news I always dismissed it as someone else’s problem.”
It wasn’t until Co-operative Energy launched in May 11 and Zoe was prompted to visit the website by a work colleague that actually found a bill and ran a price comparison. She explains: “I immediately discovered I was paying around £50 a month more than I needed to because I was on a very expensive tariff for my consumption levels and I also realised I could do so much more to save energy.”
Zoe, a public relations consultant, switched from Npower to Co-operative Energy and immediately saw her costs drop from £156 a month to £102. On top of that she receives a twice yearly dividend which saw £9 worth of vouchers drop through her door before Christmas.
“It’s not a fortune but I had only been with them five months and it all helps towards saving money.”
Zoe has also joined the ambassador scheme which offers her additional reward points for introducing friends and family and she’s checking her meter and sending in the readings to gain extra points. “I’m not brilliant at it because life’s busy but I am trying!”
And she and her children are embracing the energy conservation drive. “The children love to remind me to turn off lights and I’ve halved the use of the tumble dryer since I bought an old fashioned drying rack! It’s not rocket science but it’s a real buzz when you compare your actual meter reading to the estimated reading and you’ve used less than expected.”