Nationally, Citizens Advice found that 48% of those who were helped with energy problems were disabled or had a long-term health problem.
In January this year we promoted the Energy Best Deal Extra Project and we helped people on low incomes or benefits, those with disabilities or long term illnesses, pensioners and others with dependent children.
What energy issues did we help people with?
- Understanding billing, payment and meter payment methods
- Switching tariffs or suppliers to save money
- Providing information about saving energy, energy efficiency measures and grants
- Entitlement and help to apply for Warm Home Discount Scheme
- Identifying benefits to help with fuel debt
- Advice on dealing with fuel debts, including accessing charitable grants and setting up manageable on-going payment plans
Joan’s energy issue
Joan* was a widow in her 80s who lived alone. Her dual fuel fixed tariff deal agreement had ended and she had been sent details of other arrangements that her present supplier could offer, but these were all on-line deals. Joan asked for help to find alternatives as she wanted to save money, but also wanted the comfort of being able to speak to someone if something went wrong. After checking that there were no other issues such as debts or need for more energy efficiency measures, the adviser found a deal which both saved Joan some money and offered telephone support. The company also suggested that, as Joan was a pensioner, they could put her on their priority customer list. Joan was very happy with this option and as she had the necessary details with her, she was able to set up the switch over the phone while she was in our office.
A spokesperson for Citizens Advice Waverley said ‘The Energy Best Deal Extra Project helped us to help people who needed energy advice the most (older people and those in fuel poverty). We are proud to have helped people to save money on their bills and clear fuel debts.’
*This is a typical story of a client’s problem. Names and events have been altered for confidentiality purposes.
For free, independent, confidential advice on a wide range of topics call 0344 848 7969, visit our office at Bridge Street, Godalming Mon to Fri: 10am-4pm or visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk
Citizens Advice Waverley is a registered charity no 1098859. You can help local people get the support they need by making a donation at www.waverleycab.org.uk/fundraising
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