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Net zero transition needs ‘long-term and coordinated plan to help people understand and engage’, says Citizens Advice

14 December 2020

Citizens Advice, in its role as the official consumer watchdog for energy, has responded to details of the Energy White Paper released today. 

Alistair Cromwell, Acting Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“There’s a lot to welcome in today’s announcement. The transition to a net zero economy is going to mean fundamental changes to how our power is generated, how we heat our homes, how we fuel our cars and much more. To achieve this, public support will be crucial. There needs to be a long-term and coordinated plan to help people understand and engage with the process.

“We think the government should introduce a net zero homes guarantee that would make sure people get the information and advice they need. It would have strong consumer protections to give people confidence and would put in place support and funding for those who need it."

Commenting on measures tackle the ‘loyalty penalty’ and extend the Warm Home Discount, Cromwell added:

“The transition to net zero must be fair and needs to avoid the past problems in the retail energy market, which led to the introduction of the price cap. Testing new ways to tackle the loyalty penalty is the right approach, and we look forward to working with government and Ofgem on helping consumers get a better deal. 

“The extra funding for the Warm Homes Discount scheme is a welcome step to support households who are struggling to afford their energy bills.  With the full economic effects of coronavirus still to be felt, the transition to net zero must be done fairly, with affordability a key consideration.”

Notes to editors

  1. Citizens Advice includes the national charity; the network of independent local Citizens Advice charities across England and Wales; the Citizens Advice consumer service; and the Witness Service.
  2. Citizens Advice is the statutory consumer advocate for energy and post. We provide supplier performance information to consumers and policy analysis to decision makers.
  3. The Citizens Advice Witness Service provides free, independent support for prosecution and defence witnesses in every criminal court in England and Wales.
  4. Citizens Advice offers Pension Wise services at 500 locations in England and Wales.
  5. Citizens Advice’s services are free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to all regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  6. To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice, visit
  7. For consumer advice, call the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133 or 0808 223 1144 to talk in Welsh.
  8. We helped 2.6 million people face to face, by phone, email and webchat in 2017-18. For service statistics see our monthly publication Advice trends.
  9. Citizens Advice staff are supported by over 23,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 locations in England and Wales.