EDF Energy, one of Britain’s leading energy companies, has announced a new nationwide partnership with Citizens Advice, the largest provider of independent debt advice in the UK.
EDF Energy will be funding an Energy Debt Advice service, which will offer its customers free access to independent advice on how to deal with household debts through Citizens Advice. Help will be tailored to suit each individual’s needs, ranging from providing general information to carrying out detailed casework to assist the customer in resolving their financial issues.
Customers who wish to use the service will find the free phone number advertised on their EDF Energy bills and letters. The service will be completely confidential and independent of EDF Energy. It has been designed to address each customer’s financial situation, as the combined experience of both EDF Energy and Citizens Advice shows that those struggling with energy bills often have other household debts.
EDF Energy will fund the staffing of the Energy Debt Advice service contact centre, including debt caseworkers and a supervisor/trainer.
Martin Lawrence, managing director for EDF Energy, said: “EDF Energy has worked with Citizens Advice for a number of years. We are delighted to develop this successful relationship further by financing the Energy Debt Advice service and the new positions it requires, so we can offer our customers direct support from the organisation.
“We understand that issues with debt can be extremely stressful but we know we have found the right partner with Citizens Advice to help people having problems with their household bills, particularly those in fuel poverty.”
Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: “Around 100,000 people sought advice from Citizens Advice on energy debts last year, showing that this is a significant cause of concern. Against the context of rising utility prices and some exceptionally cold temperatures to contend with vulnerable customers on low incomes need all the help they can get to ensure they aren’t forced to choose between heating their homes or getting into arrears so we are delighted EDF Energy are funding this service.”
The Citizens Advice partnership is part of EDF Energy’s ongoing commitment to help its customers with their energy bills, as demonstrated in our ‘Sustainability Commitments’, one of the biggest packages of social and environmental initiatives announced by any UK energy company. Overall, EDF Energy will be spending £27 million over 2011/12 to support its most-in-need.
For more information, visit www.edfenergy.com