Citizens Advice Scotland has been working on the Energy Best Deal public awareness campaign with support from the energy regulator Ofgem and major energy companies since 2008. Energy Best Deal has now improved the confidence of over 200,000 domestic energy customers across Scotland, England and Wales to shop around, reduce their bills and get help if they are falling behind.
In 2011/12, over 1,100 sessions were delivered by 158 delivery partners in England and Wales, including 86 Citizens Advice Bureaux, and 140 sessions were delivered by 18 Citizens Advice Bureaux in Scotland. In total during 2011/2012, the programme reached 8,473 consumers and 6,105 frontline workers at agencies such as:
- Housing associations
- CAB and other advice agencies
- Children’s Centres/Sure Start
- Elderly people’s groups
- Health/mental health support agencies
- groups working with, for example, disabled people; drug/alcohol misuse; domestic violence; carers.
An independent evaluation of the 2011/12 campaign was conducted by the Centre for Sustainable Energy. The evaluation reported that:
- more than a third of consumers had gone on to seek a better energy deal within a few months of taking part in a session
- almost 50% had taken action to improve their home energy use, for example, by applying for a energy efficiency grant
- over 80% of frontline workers said the session had changed their opinion on the importance of fuel poverty for the people they work with
- more than 90% of front-line staff who took part said they were more confident at advising their clients on one or more of the topics covered
- during follow up interviews about three months after the session frontline workers said they had used the information to help about half the clients they had seen in that time
- 70% of consumers said they had already passed the information on to friends and family and 86% of frontline workers had already shared learning with colleagues at their organisation.
Fore more information or to arrange a session in your area, please contact Emma Balfour, Financial Inclusion Development Officer, on 0131 550 1000 or firstname.lastname@example.org