Overview Consumer Focus and NEA forums Communicating comfort Fuel poverty resources Local authority campaign
3 Why sponsor the NEA fuel poverty forums? Consumer Focus is the statutory watchdog for energy consumers We want to: help you to help consumers share information about what works learn from the experiences of your clients use this to inform our energy policy work
4 What do we do to help consumers? Consumer Focus ‒ information, support and tools ‒ help and empower consumers ‒ communications and decisions about electricity & gas suppliers interactive FAQ, ‘your energy questions’ consumer facing leaflets letter templates for energy consumers & advice providers Online helpfinder Information on switching energy supplier Information about energy supplier performance.
5 What do we do to help advisers? Consumer Focus supports advisers and frontline staff Phone and on line: http://www.consumerfocus.org.uk/get-advice/advice-agencies Username: Adviceprovider Password: Info4you Advanced version of ‘your energy questions’ Adviser factsheets Consumer Community email network Presentations – Policy into Practice
6 What do we do to help advisers? ‘Ask the adviser’ telephone support service 0844 980 0041 Provides guidance to advice agencies dealing with postal or energy complaints on behalf of their clients Can advise on how best to challenge a supplier and details of relevant legislation Not a referral service – allows advisers to retain case handling.
Engaging energy consumers in energy efficiency New Consumer Focus research report “What’s in it for me?” 15 case studies: most address fuel poverty
The concept of exchange Consumers will take action if the perceived benefits outweigh the perceived costs of, or barriers to, taking that action Cost is a barrier, but is no upfront cost enough? Other barriers such as hassle Where is the benefit?
Bring benefits forward Consumers want clear benefits in the short-term Payback is long-term Comfort, health and security may be more relevant in the short-term
Case studies 15 case studies Mostly public sector - reflecting current market No silver bullet Lessons –Promoting benefits –Reducing barriers –Marketing energy efficiency Report and free workshops
Conclusions Full learning and recommendations in our report on www.consumerfocus.org.uk www.consumerfocus.org.uk Challenges –Evaluation needed to understand applicability elsewhere –Partnerships necessary to build trust, without limiting competition –Trust, and other factors, will be bespoke to locality –How will lessons be shared? Workshops: http://consumerfocus.eventbrite.co.uk /http://consumerfocus.eventbrite.co.uk /
Fuel poverty resources in England: energy efficiency 2013: WF, CERT & CESP end No replacement for Decent Homes All Govt spend ends Only ECO –Affordable Warmth –Area programme £463m for fuel poor: England only £540m for GB Source: ACE (2012), National fuel poverty budgets, supplier obligation funds pro ratad for Eng only
Finding the money Energy Bill Revolution www.energybillrevolution.org Coordinated by Transform UK − research and advocacy − major parliamentary campaign Recycle carbon revenues: −energy efficiency programme focused on fuel poor −‘fuel poverty proof’ homes: EPCB standard −almost all of fuel poor removed from fuel poverty
Energy bill revolution: Making the economic case EBR campaign is a key priority for CF and EFPC –helped fund Verco research: –EFPC encouraged supporters to join CF: funded macro-economic research –Cambridge Econometrics & Verco –compares impact of alternative stimulus programmes –GDP, balance of payments and jobs Interim findings –investment (£3 – 4bn pa) in EE has much larger impact than: –investment in public services or government capital spending Final report due July
Local authority fuel poverty initiative Encourage local authority action against fuel poverty New opportunities –new HECA guidance –transfer of public health to local government –Green Deal and ECO Survey of local authority fuel poverty activity ‘Local authority fuel poverty commitment’ –similar to Nottingham declaration on climate change –written by EFPC & local authority specialists, with LGA advice Dedicated local authority website
Launch of commitment Islington Council: 17 October Agenda: Seeking local authority signatories Public campaign More info from firstname.lastname@example.org MinisterLGA Public declaration of supportIslington Council Another leading local authorityNEA DECC: ECO communities fundHealth & Well-Being Board National Pensioners ConventionLaunch of LA fuel poverty survey
Identifying homes in need Bulk EPC data now available to certain organisations, including local authorities http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/planningandbuilding/pdf /2121747.pdf All requests for bulk data should go to: email@example.com