Help is once again at hand for households struggling with winter energy costs.
The national charity, the Citizens Advice Bureau is offering free face-to-face advice to the public as part of its Energy Best Deal campaign. Last year, over 44,000 customers are estimated to have benefited from the scheme.
Its purpose is to help people make their homes energy efficient, ensure they are claiming the right benefits and are on the best energy tariff for them.
The campaign aims to:
- Make people aware of the savings that can be made by switching fuel providers or negotiating with existing providers.
- Provide information about help available from energy suppliers and government for people struggling to pay their gas and electricity bills.
- To help those on low incomes using pre-payment meters.
The campaign is delivered through sessions based around a 45-minute presentation. Staff from agencies have been specially trained to provide this service, which will be delivered across England and Wales in the first few months of 2011.
The Energy Best Deal is being run by Citizens Advice in partnership with the energy regulator Ofgem and some leading utility companies. Funding has been received from a number of utility companies, energy suppliers EDF Energy and E.On and also from the Department of Energy and Climate Change.
John Rhodes, head of financial capability at Citizens Advice said: “At a time when temperatures are regularly freezing it is more important than ever to reach the more vulnerable consumers. It is vital that they know how to get the best deal on their energy, where they can get help to keep their homes warm and how to keep their bills as low as possible.”
Sarah Harrison, Ofgem’s senior partner for sustainable development, said: “The Energy Best Deal scheme delivers vital practical advice on the wide range of help available to householders struggling to manage their energy bills. It is important that consumers will continue to receive this information face-to-face from a trusted source this winter.”
An independent evaluation in 2010 showed that 98 per cent of consumers who received Energy Best Deal information found the sessions useful and more than a third went on to look into getting a better deal on their energy.
For further information about the campaign, visit: www.citizensadvice.org.uk/fsfl_projects_energybestdeal