Households struggling with fuel bills begin receiving vital advice sessions
December sees the start of this winter’s round of free Energy Best Deal advice sessions delivered nationwide as part of the longstanding partnership between Citizens Advice and Ofgem.
Following record funding of £600,000 from all of the ‘Big Six’ energy companies (British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON, npower, ScottishPower and Scottish and Southern Energy), thousands of households facing increased energy costs will benefit from free Energy Best Deal sessions offered by Citizens Advice, in conjunction with Ofgem.
Energy Best Deal sessions are designed for consumers and frontline workers who are likely to be in contact with vulnerable consumers. The sessions give advice on how to make homes energy efficient, ensure consumers are claiming the right benefits and check they are on the best energy tariff for their circumstances.
Since the campaign began in 2008 over 94,000 consumers have already benefited from the Energy Best Deal sessions. Between December and May next year more than 1,200 sessions will be delivered nationwide. This should result in an additional 95,000 consumers benefiting from the campaign, more than doubling the current total.
Gillian Guy,Chief Executive of Citizens Advice said:
"Following the Energy Summit in October we’ve been working closely with Government, energy companies, Ofgem and others to make sure that consumers get the best deal and vulnerable consumers are protected.
"In the last year Citizens Advice Bureaux have dealt with more than 100,000 enquiries about fuel debt and the Citizens Advice website has seen a 78 per cent increase in the number of people viewing our advice on this issue.
"Energy Best Deal is a vital source of information for all our clients who desperately need help to save money on their fuel costs."
Sarah Harrison, Ofgem’s Senior Partner for Sustainable Development, said:
"Given recent increases in energy prices, Energy Best Deal has an important part to play in helping to keep energy bills as low as possible for vulnerable consumers this winter.
"Ofgem is pushing forward with reforms to the retail market which will make choosing a better deal easier for all consumers by removing complex tariffs. Easy to understand prices will help make Energy Best Deal even more effective at helping vulnerable consumers."
Notes to editors:
- 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.
- 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.
- To find your local bureau in England and Wales, visit citizensadvice.org.uk. You can also get advice online at adviceguide.org.uk
- 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
- 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
- Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 3,000 service outlets across England and Wales.