Consumer Tips
Energy & Fuel
Money
30 March 2022

Fuel Saving Tips

Fuel Saving Tips With forecourt fuel prices going through reaching record highs, we’ve put together some tips on how to reduce your fuel consumption and get the best available price. Since the Council started collecting forecourt prices around 15 years ago, the highest recorded prices were in 2012/2013 when they reached just over £1.20 per litre for unleaded petrol. The latest prices, published on 29 March 2022, are eye-watering with the prices ranging from:Unleaded £1.519 - £1.749 plDiesel       £1.550 - £1.819 pl Now, more than ever, it’s essential that we drive as efficiently as possible to get the most miles from as little fuel as possible. Your car manual will possibly have some suggestions on how to get the best out of your specific make and model but here are some more general tips. Get the best price Find the forecourt closest to your house, work, or on your route, that is selling at the best price by using our pricecomparison.je website or free downloadable app. Most forecourts with the same branding sell at the same price, but not all. Just because you can get one price in St Martin does not mean it will be the same in St Ouen. Sign up for one of the free loyalty schemes offered by the suppliers, as you will often benefit from discounts, or accumulate cash for use at a later date. The places offering these will be shown on our price comparison site very soon. Drive wisely Avoid stopping and starting, if possible. Gently roll up to the red traffic light or yellow line. Lower your speed and drive in the highest gear for that speed (within the speed limit).Accelerate away slowly and, when driving try to maintain your speed and keep the revs between 1,500 - 2,500 rpm (petrol) and 1,200 - 2,000 rpm (diesel). Brake gently too, rather than leaving it late and wasting energy (unless an emergency stop is required). Keep in gear when braking as this uses very little fuel. Keep the number of times you change gear to a minimum. Many new cars have gear change indication on the dashboard which shows the most economical gear to be driving in at any one time. With all our hills, its’ good to know that when coming to one accelerate a little ahead of time and ease off as you drive up, which will minimise fuel consumption. Our Island speed limits range from 15 to 40 mph. According to the RAC, when driving in the UK driving between 50 to 60 mph is the best for fuel efficiency. The faster you drive the more fuel you use. Cruise control can be used in the UK or Europe but is no real benefit on our roads. Maintain and tidy your car Check your tyre pressure to reduce drag and effort on your engine. The correct pressure for your vehicle will be stated in the car manual. Check the oil levels and get it serviced regularly. It’s a good time to clear out anything in the boot that you don’t need for every journey. Any extra weight uses more fuel. Take off the roof rack, roof box or cycle rack, as these create drag and add weight. It’s great to support your football team but those patriotic flags, stuck on the window or aerial, will cost you. Don’t warm up the car Modern day cars don’t need to be warmed up before driving which means you’re not wasting fuel. Keep air con to a minimum If the window is iced over, use a scraper to clear it rather than cranking up the heater to warm up the window. In the summer, open the window and let that fresh air in, although this does increase drag. When you do need to use the heater or cooler, keep it to a minimum as it is one of the biggest uses of fuel. Plan your journey If you’re unsure where you’re going it’s worth using a satnav to get you there using the quickest route. Most newer models will redirect you to avoid traffic jams or roadworks so you don’t waste time and fuel in a traffic jam. Make your journey as efficient as possible by planning your stops so you don’t have to go back on yourself. Car share and buses Reduce the time you use your car by car-sharing or using the bus service.  
At Home
Consumer Tips
Money
15 March 2022

60+ Money Saving Tips

60+ Money Saving Tips From ways to save on food, transport and daily spending, to ideas on how to reduce your energy bills and add some income, we’ve prepared a list of ideas to help you save money.  Depending on your circumstances, we know not all of these may suit you or be possible but hopefully, you can use some. Food Savings Pricecomparison.je – Use our price comparison site and app, which will have some new features in the coming weeks. This compares around one hundred grocery and household items in the six main supermarkets, as well as two online ones. (Alliance, Co-Op, First Choice Groceries, Iceland, M&S, Morrisons, Valley Foods and Waitrose)  Create a weekly menu – By knowing exactly what meals you will be cooking for the next seven days, will help limit the chance of over buying and reduce the amount of unused food that ends up in the bin. Leftover food – If you do have unused food, look up recipes that you could use them in, ideally by using store cupboard items and without having to buy more food. Vegetable soup is a good use of leftover veg, and a chicken carcass can be boiled to create a perfect stock or soup base. Cheaper options – Most stores will have a couple of differently priced options from the cheapest ‘value’ item to a ‘mid-range’ and ‘premium’ selection. You may find that the cheapest value option is not displayed where you would expect it to be. For example, the cheapest shampoo might be tucked away in the pharmacy section and not with the large selection of shampoos, or the cheapest pack of tortillas may be in the Mexican section, rather than the bakery section. Often the cheapest option is not at eye level, so look at both the top and bottom shelves. Own label versus brand names – Many supermarkets have their own labelled products which tend to be cheaper than branded goods, such as Heinz, Nestle or Kellogg’s. They often get a bad reputation for not being as good as the well-known brands, but many supermarket brands are actually made at the factories as the better known ones. Supermarket promotions – Keep a look out for promotions and, if you can afford to, bulk buy. The most important point about promotions is not to be tempted to buy just because something is on promotion, especially if you can’t afford it or don’t usually eat/use the item.Sometimes promotions are not exactly as you might expect, so the easiest way to keep track of how much an item usually costs is to keep and compare your receipts. For example: If a tin of Heinz baked beans usually costs 95p and is on a buy one get one free (BOGOF) promotion at a cost of £1.05 it’s worthwhile. If a pack of nine toilet rolls that usually costs £5 is on a ‘3 for 2’multi buy promotion at a total price of £12 it’s worthwhile as you’re saving £3. But, if a 450g pack of minced meat is usually £3 and is on ‘3 for £10’ promotion there is no point buying whilst on promotion as you’re actually paying £1 more. Batch cook and freeze – If you can afford to make the most of promotions, it’s a great way to bulk buy so you can batch cook. Whether it’s tins of chickpeas to make a large vegetarian curry or kilos of minced meat to make a Bolognese, you will have your own family favourites and there are loads of ideas online. Take outs – A take out is always a treat, and during lockdown the numbers of eateries that went online soared, giving us an excellent choice of options. The problem with this is it’s now too easy to order almost anything and some of us may be spending a lot more money on take outs than we did pre-pandemic. Grow your own – Whether you have a garden or a windowsill, growing your own food is always fun. A pack of seeds from the garden centre may cost anywhere from 50p – £3 but will save you money in the long run. Tomatoes, peas and herbs are all very easy to grow and somehow taste better than shop bought. You don’t even have to buy the plant pots as they can often be found for free via Facebook groups. Transport Savings Limit car use – Save money on fuel and parking. If you’re on a good bus route with a bus stop close by, start using the bus. As of 3 August 2022, fares range from £1.85 to £2.50 (Adult) and 95p to £1.20 (Child). On 21 March 2022, the new Avanchi 18 smart card trial went live. Cards will cost £20 per year and expire on the card holder’s birthday each year.  Account discounts – If you do use your car, it’s worth shopping around for the best account discount available from each forecourt near your home, work, or on your route. Forecourt discounts can be found on the ‘My Forecourt’ section of our pricecomparison.je site. We would recommend only opening an account if it is a free option. Taxi journey – If you need a taxi, phone around to find the cheapest fare available for the number of people and route needed. Connecting flights – Don’t always choose Gatwick or Heathrow as regional airports may be cheaper. Driving abroad – Check whether it’s cheaper to take your car on the boat or hire a car when you're there.   Forecourt fuel prices – Use our Pricecomparison.je site and app to compare the prices of unleaded petrol and diesel across all Island forecourts. Shopping Savings Shop around – It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a fridge, a pet carrier or house insurance, shopping around for the best price is always a good idea. It may be a little time-consuming but checking the price at various retailers and suppliers is worth the effort, and you may even find a better option for a better price. Price match/beat – Ask the retailer or supplier if they’re willing to either price match or beat a quote you had from elsewhere. Loyalty schemes – Several retailers and hospitality outlets have free loyalty schemes, either by building up points or getting stamps. These build up over time resulting in a free coffee, discounted meal, or a percentage off your next treatment. Charity shops – Pre-loved items are a great way to spruce up your wardrobe, home or garden. There are so many charity shops in the Island with a huge range of items from clothes, bags and jewellery to tableware, chairs and beds. It’s a win for all. Books – If you like to read, or are studying for something, rather than buying new, the Jersey Library has a vast range on offer for free. Daily Savings Daily coffee – As much as we all enjoy our daily take out coffee, the cost adds up. If you buy one for £2 every weekday for 48 weeks a year, that’s a whopping £480 just on your morning coffee. It would be better to invest in a cafetière and make your own posh coffee at home each morning, and take it with you in a reusable and environmentally friendly cup. Meal deals – There are many meal deals but it’s not as cheap as making your own sandwich or salad. Grabbing a pot of frozen soup made from leftover food is a quick win. Newspapers and magazines – A daily physical newspaper costs around £1-2 but many newspapers and magazines have online subscription options which work out far cheaper. If you're a member of the Jersey Library, you can access hundreds of free newspapers and other publications using the PressReader app. Entertainment Savings Subscription services – The full SKY subscription costs are particularly expensive, so it might be time to review exactly what you watch and change your plan. The same with other services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, especially as they are increasing their prices more regularly. Home cinema – Although going to the cinema is a great experience, the pandemic forced us to watch great movies at home and made us realise that it’s a far cheaper and more relaxed experience. Garden Savings Water Butt – Buy a water butt to collect rainwater which will save money on watering your garden or houseplants. Compost – Make your own compost heap or buy a compost bin that is less likely to attract rats. Grow your own – If you’ve got space in the garden why not turn it into a small vegetable patch? Grow bags or tubs can be used on a patio. Energy Saving Electricity and Gas – Here are some of our tips. Extra income Sell unwanted items – Selling items you no longer use is a great way to bring in some income. There are many Facebook groups where you can advertise for free.*Scam warning – ‘Facebook Marketplace’ is a hub for scammers so never agree to send something through the post because the person is ‘too busy’ to pick the item up or ‘working in another country so will send a courier. Spare change – OK, it’s not extra income but if you’re able, put that loose change in a jar. Or you might choose to save just 20p pieces or £1 coins. It’s surprising how much you can save by the end of the year which could go towards Christmas presents.  Budget Tool You may like to use our updated tool to help with budgetting and managing your incoming and outgoing finances.
Consumer Tips
Energy & Fuel
Money
02 December 2021

Energy Saving Tips – Electricity and Gas

Energy Saving Tips – Electricity and Gas With gas prices surging and electricity prices due to increase by 4% in January 2022, many customers are going to struggle to keep themselves warm and pay bills over the winter and spring period. With the help of Jersey Electricity and Jersey Gas, we’ve compiled a long list of energy-saving tips which may help counteract some of the increased costs of running your home. Heating Turn your room thermostat down by 1 degree Check the times the heating comes on and adjust accordingly Bleed radiators to prevent cold spots Close your curtains and blinds at night Use draft excluders – make you own with filled plastic bags or tights Put draft-proofing strips around window and door frames Use a chimney draft excluder when not in use – remove before lighting a fire Use blankets and layers of clothes to keep warm Hot Water Turn your immersion cylinder to 60 degrees Take a quick shower instead of a bath (uses 5 times less water) Use a washing up bowl rather than leaving the hot tap running Electricity Turn lights off when you are not in the room Don’t leave appliances on standby – turn off at plug Unplug phones, tablets and laptops once fully charged Use a kettle to boil the amount of water needed for cooking or hot drinks Change lightbulbs to energy saving LED ones Fill washing machines and dishwashers to capacity Limit use of tumble dryer by putting clothes on washing line or leaving to air Dust down fridges and radiators for best efficiency and heat flow Cooking Cook several items at the same time (a set of steamer pans uses less water) Use a microwave when possible Cover your pots and pans to reduce steam and use less energy Freeze spare or bulk cooked food (once cooled down) Consider turning your stove/hob off a couple of minutes before food is fully cooked as the heat from the pan will continue to cook your food Options which cost money but will help Insulate your loft Lag your hot water cylinder Only purchase energy efficient appliances (A++, A+, A) Consider replacing old boilers with a more energy efficient one Consider buying a smart heating control which put you in control of heating Help with Bills If you are struggling to pay your energy bills, please contact the relevant company’s support lines (see below) who may be able to offer a flexible payment plan to help you. Jersey Electricity The JEC have a free downloadable app called ‘My JE’ which can be found via the App Store or Google Play (more information on this was in our summer 2021 newsletter. They are also able to send someone to your home to check any appliances that may be using a high amount of electricity and suggest ways to reduce your bill. Their contact details are:Telephone: 01534 505460Email: jec@jec.co.uk Jersey Gas Ask Jersey Gas for a Comfort Visit, to make sure your heating system is well-maintained and running efficiently. Their contact details are:Telephone: 01534 755500Contact form: https://www.jsygas.com/contact/ Helpful Links Here are some links from Jersey Electricity, Jersey Gas and the Energy Savings Trust that you may find helpful: https://www.jec.co.uk/your-home/help-advice/saving-energy/saving-energy-in-your-home https://www.jec.co.uk/your-home/help-advice/bills-payments/reducing-your-bill/ https://www.jsygas.com/online-services/calculate-bill.php
Consumer Tips
Money
14 September 2021

Three things you can do if you’re trying to get a refund for The Weekender

It was awful to read that the organisers of this popular annual music event felt they had little choice but to reschedule for a second time, until 3-4 September 2022. Having corresponded with the organisers, it is clear that the amount of work, management and safety considerations, that go into an event for 10,000 people are immense, as well as huge upfront payments for booked artists, and we are sympathetic to their situation. As stated in the T&Cs, refunds are not applicable if the event is rescheduled (not cancelled outright), and we believe that the majority of ticketholders will keep their tickets for next year. That said, there will be ticketholders who wish or need a refund, and we feel that considering the extraordinary situation (a second rescheduling), there should be some flexibility to the T&Cs and refund requests should be accepted. Terms and Conditions As shown below, clause 3 of the T&Cs states that if you are unable to attend the rescheduled date you may be offered a refund, “Tickets will remain valid for the rescheduled event. You must notify the organisers within the specified deadline if you are unable to attend the new date. A refund period may also be offered at the organiser’s sole discretion.” Full T&Cs can be found by clicking the 'Need help?' option on the Weekender site. Regrettably, we have not been able to locate the ‘specified date’ on either The Weekender or the ticket seller’s (CM.com) sites. On several occasions over the past 3 weeks, we have asked the organisers to confirm the deadline date. Unfortunately, we are yet to receive a reply and are aware that some ticketholders are having the same problem. Options Having discussed with other consumer organisations, it seems that ticketholders wishing a refund are left with the below options: Contact your debit or credit card provider requesting a ‘charge back’ for any transaction under £100. Contact your credit card provider requesting a refund as per your Section 75 rights of the Consumer Credit Act. Take it to the Petty Debts Court. Here’s a link that may help. Please let us know how you get on.  
Consumer Tips
Shopping
30 November 2020

Your Rights at Christmas

Christmas may be the most wonderful time of the year for some, but present buying isn’t always so calm and bright. Your aunt doesn’t like the scarf you bought her, the children’s new play-set came broken and you don’t know how long your gift card has before it expires. Knowing your consumer rights could protect you from many mishaps this holiday and may even give you some extra time to scoff mince pies.   Returning faulty goods As a consumer, The Supply of Goods and Services (Jersey) Law 2009 protects you if your goods are: Faulty or damaged Useless Not what was advertised or matching the description These terms apply whether your goods were bought new, in a sale or even second hand. Usually, you will be required to provide proof of purchase, such as a receipt, when returning these goods. If goods are faulty, within a reasonably short period of time after the sale took place, a consumer is entitled to a full refund or compensation. However, consumers could alternatively select a repair or replacement, which would then be at the company’s discretion to accept.   Returning unwanted goods When returning unwanted rather than faulty goods, consumers will usually have to follow the company’s internal returns policy. These ‘goodwill’ policies may offer either a refund, exchange or credit note. It’s worth noting that companies aren’t required by law to have a returns policy, so double check before you buy. Time limits may be imposed on these returns, such as 28 days, and may increase around the holidays.   Returning online goods When buying online goods, you have additional rights for returns. This is because of the ‘expectation versus reality’ phenomenon, where the image online may look nothing like the physical item you receive. Under the Consumer Contracts regulation, you have the right to cancel your order if you change your mind or if it’s not as advertised. You have 14 days to cancel your order, but companies do not expect you to then return the item within this timeframe. Some companies will do pre-paid returns, but some will require the customer to pay for their own postage. You should not be expected to pay for returning faulty or damaged goods.   Gift cards When purchasing gift cards, it is important that the company issuing them includes any important terms at the point of purchase. It’s good to read the fine print, as you will be held to any terms set out when purchasing. Expiry dates for gift cards can vary enormously. These can range from just a few months to even a year. When receiving a gift card, make sure to check the expiry date to ensure you use it in this timeframe. The gift-giver won’t get their money back if you don’t spend it!   For more information, go to the Trading Standards Consumer Rights page.  
Consumer Tips
Money
Shopping
12 October 2020

Christmas preparations and budget

Yup, we said it and there’s no denying that Christmas is on it’s way, so out come the Christmas emojis   To misquote that old song ‘It’s the most expensive time of the year’ and with Christmas just over 10 weeks away and shops starting to display their Christmas wares, now is a good time to start preparing, with particular focus on your budget. The financial strains caused by the pandemic are going to make 2020 celebrations tough for many Islanders.    People celebrate Christmas in different ways. Some like the traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings served on a beautifully decorated table, and others prefer a more casual day. But, the one thing we all have in common is the financial burden it puts on our income. A recent study suggests the average cost of Christmas is around £500.    Many of you may have started your shopping already which is a great way to spread the cost and avoid the financial hit of paying for everything in December. To help you with your preparations and money management, we’ve created a Christmas budget planner which includes a breakdown of many Christmas items that you may need to buy and some tips on how to keep the cost down.   Bargain spotting is always fun and this year Amazon Prime members can take advantage of the annual ‘Amazon Prime Day’ which, due to COVID, has been delayed from July. It’s actually spread over two days and officially starts tomorrow (13 & 14 October), although deals are already available. This is great timing for anyone looking to bag an early Christmas bargain, be it a present, an extra chair or sofa bed for guests, or that new TV to watch the Christmas movies and sport on.   Gift vouchers are a popular and easy choice as presents. However, many retailers, both large and small, have struggled in recent years with some on the brink of collapse and others already fallen into administration. With this in mind, it’s important to note that a gift voucher will often not be honoured, if a company collapses.   Some of our other tips are:   Don’t forget your everyday bills still need paying.   Don’t rely on an overdraft or borrow from unauthorised lenders.    Remember to clear your credit card balance straight away.    Always buy from a reputable company and do your research.    Check and track prices using sites such as camelcamelcamel.com who monitor Amazon prices throughout the year.    Sign up to store newsletters and follow your favourite brands on social media to see their offers.   If you’re not an Amazon Prime member (usually £7.99 per month) take advantage of the 30 day free trials. If you time it right you can be a member during either Prime Day or Black Friday. Remember to diarise the cancellation date, so that your membership is cancelled before they automatically take the next month’s payment.    Annual Black Friday sales start in stores and online in late November.    If you’ve got a store account or membership which offers loyalty points, now’s the time to cash them in.    Posting Christmas cards and parcels will add to your costs. Consider sending e-cards and buying from stores (usually online) that offer free delivery directly to the present recipient (with strict instructions ‘Do Not Open until 25th December’)!    Take advantage of retailers, both in-store and online, offering a free gift wrapping service.    To help the environment and your budget, buy brown paper rather than expensive Christmas paper. You can make it personal by decorating it by hand.    Get the family involved and have fun making your own decorations. For example, start drying out collect fallen pine cones and slices of orange to hang on the tree.    If you have some of your budget left over, why not buy next year’s gifts in the January sales.    As mad as it sounds, January is the time to start saving for next Christmas (without adding pressure to you regular expenditure). If you put away just £5 a week, by the start of December you’ll have £240. Double that to £10 a week and you will have £480 towards next year’s cost.