Energy Secretary Ed Davey has written to MP’s to advise them on how to lower their constituents energy bills, as Britsh Gas and npower announce gas price increases.
“The government cannot control volatile world energy prices, which account for around half the current domestic energy bill, but there are a number of ways it can help consumers to cut their energy bills,” he writes.
Next week, an initiative coordinated by Citizens Advice called ‘Big Energy Savings Week’ will begin. This is designed to help educate consumers on saving energy.
The Green Deal is now officially in operation, although currently only property assessments are on offer from providers with finance deals on actual improvement measures not possible until the end of January next year.
Last week, representatives from the insulation industry warned that the gap could, as well as putting more households at risk of fuel poverty, jeopardise some 16,000 jobs in the industry.
But Davey argues that the Warm Front scheme is still providing heating and insulation measures to low-income and vulnerable households in England and has changed its criteria so that more people will be eligible. The Warm Home Discount scheme will also give one million of the poorest pensioners and a further million of the most vulnerable a £130 discount on the electricity bill.
The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) will come into operation in early 2013, running alongside the Green Deal, by which time more households may have been pushed over the fuel poverty line.
Davey advices that consumers need to switch supplier for savings, and also pay by direct debit which could typically save around £200 a year.
The government has now ensured that, if asked to do so, the energy supplier has to switch consumers on the best available tariff, as well as an Energy Saving Advice Service (ESAS) which offers phone advice to consumers on how to make homes more energy efficient and reduce bills.