£1.7m to help vulnerable consumers cut energy bills

A £1.7 million initiative aimed at helping vulnerable consumers save money on their energy bills has been launched. The 2016/17 Big Energy Saving Network (BESN) is jointly funded by DECC […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

A £1.7 million initiative aimed at helping vulnerable consumers save money on their energy bills has been launched.

The 2016/17 Big Energy Saving Network (BESN) is jointly funded by DECC and National Energy Action.

Local authorities, community groups, charities and social landlords can apply for a share of the fund to help vulnerable customers cut energy bills through assisted action on tariffs, switching and uptake of energy efficiency technologies.

Each grant will be worth up to £5,000 and will be payable to deliver energy saving advice projects to those consumers having difficulty accessing information or understanding how to save money on their bills.

Every BESN grant funded project will be co-ordinated by a Network Champion, who will receive specialised training and must achieve a pass mark.

They will be responsible for the delivery of the project, including providing advice to 100 vulnerable customers on energy issues such as switching tariffs and different bill payment methods. They must also train 40 frontline workers to enable them to provide advice to consumers through their day-to-day work.

They will have to supply monthly performance data, including key milestones and provide a case study of vulnerable customers helped and workers trained.

DECC is accepting postal applications until 8th July and e-mail applications until 10th July.