UK government TV ad urges households to take 30 seconds to reduce energy bills

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Households will be urged to take only 30 seconds out of their day to reduce their energy use as a UK government TV advertising campaign designed to cut bills finally launches.

The advert, part of an £18m campaign originally blocked by Liz Truss, will air during festive schedules from 8.30am on Tuesday on terrestrial and satellite channels, including ITV, Channel 4 and Sky.

The advert suggests Britons should spend 30 seconds taking small actions such as turning down their boiler flow, switching off lights, closing curtains at night or reducing washing machine temperatures.

The advert states: “This is a 30-second ad – that’s not long but it’s long enough to do something that could save you money on your energy bills …

“Each one you do will be 30 seconds well spent, they all add up and could save you money.”

The Guardian revealed earlier this month that the campaign was finally due to start with digital and outdoor adverts from 17 December, under the strapline “It all adds up”.

The campaign launched with a social media video in which the energy secretary, Grant Shapps, encourages people to save money while battling with a pesky Elf on the Shelf.

UK ministers had been urged to launch the campaign since the summer as officials elsewhere in Europe began asking businesses, public bodies and citizens to cut usage amid high energy bills and concerns over a shortage of gas after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In the UK the government was ready to launch a campaign in October but the move was blocked by Truss, who opposed a “nanny state” intervention.

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Ministers have been careful not to advocate anything that would endanger public health amid fears efforts to cut energy bills will endanger lives this winter.

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Last week fire authorities urged householders to take care when using candles, wood burners and electric heaters to cut energy bills this Christmas after a spate of recent house fires.

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Critics have argued the campaign has launched too late to make a real difference this winter and many households have already made every effort to cut their bills.

The government stepped in to cushion the blow of rising energy bills through its energy price guarantee, which caps typical annual household bills at £2,500 until April and £3,000 after that for a further year.

The business and energy minister Lord Callanan said: “The government’s ‘It All Adds Up’ energy-saving campaign is already getting important information out to millions of households across the country, showing them simple, low and no-cost tips to cut their energy use and bills this winter.

“Simple steps can make a big difference to cutting bills, while keeping homes warm and safe, and by launching this new TV advert, even more people will be aware and the savings will keep adding up for UK households.”

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