Citizens Advice has been delivering tailored one-to-one energy advice through the Energy Best Deal extra (EDBx) programme since 2012.
The Energy Best Deal extra programme provides advice appointments to vulnerable consumers who are struggling to pay their bills, require better deals on energy, need guidance on the most appropriate payment methods or information on how to access help from energy suppliers and the Government.
Energy suppliers are able to meet part of their regulated spending obligations through funding Ofgem approved initiatives targeted at people in fuel poverty or at risk of fuel poverty.
Citizens Advice has secured further funding from suppliers to deliver the Energy Best Deal extra project from October 2018 to March 2019. The funding will allow us to continue to deliver one to one energy advice to consumers in fuel poverty or at risk of fuel poverty.
Our Energy Advice Strategy recognises advice needs to be accessible when, where and how a client needs it, including face to face, online, via webchat or over the telephone. Clients receiving energy advice through the EBDx project will hopefully become more confident to manage their problems, but if they need further help in the future will know who to turn to at an earlier stage. This approach enables us to provide consistent quality energy advice integrated into our overall advice offer.
Citizens Advice Portsmouth has won a major grant to provide advice to local people who may need extra support with their energy bills, particularly the elderly or those on low incomes.
The charity has secured funding from the Energy Best Deal Extra (EDBx) programme to provide one-to-one advice throughout the winter. Advisers will help people find the best deal on fuel and ensure they are getting all the help they can from both energy suppliers and the government.
Citizens Advice Portsmouth is one of 140 local Citizens Advice across the UK to benefit from the funding, provided by 8 national energy suppliers. EBDx advice appointments will be carried out by qualified advisers in local Citizens Advice offices, at outreach locations, during home visits or by telephone.
Sandy O'Neill, Chief Officer of Citizens Advice Portsmouth said:
“We know that people are often forced to make a choice between putting the heating on and being able to buy food. This funding will make a massive difference to people in the Portsmouth area, giving them the information they need to help them stay warm.”
EBDx advice appointments will cover a range of areas, including:
- Understanding tariffs and switching tariffs
- Information about energy efficiency measures and grants
- Benefit entitlement checks for eligibility and applications for Warm Home Discount (WHD), rebates available from energy suppliers and the Priority Services Register
- Help to understand billing, meter readings and payment methods
- Advice on dealing with fuel debt, including accessing financial support to pay off fuel debts through charitable grants, and ongoing payment plans.