Department of Energy and Climate Change
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Army of Fuel Bill Advisors goes National during Energy Saving Week

Army of Fuel Bill Advisors goes National during Energy Saving Week

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE News Release (2008/5) issued by COI News Distribution Service. 23 October 2008

A new scheme to train hundreds of workers from Citizens Advice Bureaux, Housing Associations, and other organisations, to help low income households get the best deal on their energy bills is being launched today by Energy and Climate Change Minister Joan Ruddock in Hammersmith.

The Energy Best Deal campaign is funded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and is being rolled out nationally by Ofgem following a successful pilot.

The launch on Thursday 23 October by Joan Ruddock coincides with Energy Saving Week, during which consumers are being urged to take a few simple steps every day to decrease their energy use, cut their bills and help reduce their carbon footprint.

Training sessions for the workers will take place across the country over the next few months. The advisors will learn about savings that people can make through switching their energy deal, either to another supplier or to their existing supplier's cheapest offer. They will also learn what help low-income customers can get from their energy suppliers and the government with their energy bills, as well as in insulating their homes and other energy efficiency measures.


Joan Ruddock said:

"We must do as much as we can at this time of high energy prices to help people deal with their fuel bills- especially those who are the most vulnerable such as the elderly and those on low incomes.

"This new army of energy advisors that we are training will be on the frontline helping people find the best energy deal available and giving energy efficiency advice that will make a real difference to their bills, their homes and their carbon footprint
"People will also find out about the government's Warm Front scheme which provides funding for insulation and other measures to help vulnerable households, as well as the excellent work of the Energy Saving Trust, which provides free help and information on energy efficiency. Energy efficiency helps save energy, save money and keep people warm, not just this winter but for years to come."

Today's launch of the training programme builds on the Government's Home Energy Saving Programme, announced last month, which provided an extra £1 billion in funding to help families save money and energy.

NOTES TO EDITORS.

1.The Energy Best Deal campaign aims to empower low income customers with the information they need to help them make energy supply choices which best suits their needs. It will train local frontline workers in England and Wales so they can provide low-income or vulnerable citizens with advice on switching energy suppliers to get the best deal, accessing government programmes and grants, and what help is available to make their homes more energy efficient. The program is funded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

2.The launch today coincides with Energy Saving Week, during which consumers are being encouraged to take time each day to reduce their energy use and help cut their annual energy bills. Advice on energy efficiency is available from the Energy Saving Trust helpline on 0800 512 012 or at http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk

3.The Government's Warm Front scheme offers up to £2,700 worth of central heating and energy efficiency measures to low income and pensioner households in England. More than 1.7 million vulnerable households have been helped since the scheme began. Under the Energy Best Deal frontline workers will provide information on the scheme to customers who may be eligible for assistance.

4.The Energy Best Deal will build on the assistance already on offer, including the Home Energy Savings Programme announced on September 11 this year. The package includes free loft and cavity wall insulation for 2 million householders, and a 50 per grant for all other households; an increase in the Winter Fuel Payments; an additional £74 million funding for Warm Front; and an increase in the obligation on energy suppliers to offer energy efficiency assistance.


http://www.decc.gov.uk

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