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Citizens Advice response to the Energy & Climate Change Select Committee’s

25 July 2011

Citizens Advice Chief Executive, Gillian Guy said:

“Citizens Advice continues to demand an end to doorstep selling by energy companies – and urges such companies not to simply resort to cold-call phone tactics instead.

“CAB advisers helped with over 100,000 fuel debt problems last year alone. We have seen first-hand how worried people have been made by the poor choices they have felt pressured into making by aggressive doorstep sellers driven by commission. Consumers increasingly need a market where they can make informed choices and find suppliers that offer them the best deal. But CAB has plenty of evidence to show that doorstep fuel selling often leaves people in debt and confused by a system of double billing or money transfers they haven't agreed to.

"We urge anyone in debt or worried about how they will pay their bills to get advice from their local CAB. We can help you make sure that you're on the cheapest deal that your supplier provides, look at whether you would be better off switching suppliers, and advise on the help available for making your home more energy efficient.

“Since 2008, Citizens Advice Bureaux in England and Wales have been working with OFGEM on the Energy Best Deal* scheme to help people save money on their energy bills.”

Notes to editors:

  1. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local bureaux, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  2. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential, and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  3. To find your local bureau in England and Wales, visit citizensadvice.org.uk. You can also get advice online at adviceguide.org.uk
  4. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers
  5. Citizens Advice Bureaux in England and Wales advised 2.3 million clients on 5.4 million problems from October 2013 to September 2014. For full 2013/2014  service statistics see our quarterly publication Advice trends
  6. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 3,000 service outlets across England and Wales.