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Government introduces utility measures

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A raft of new Government measures to help vulnerable consumers make their homes warmer and more energy efficient have been revealed.

The measures are designed to help with bills and ensure consumers, particularly the elderly, are on the best value tariff and include changes in the law to allow data sharing with energy suppliers and a pilot scheme to ensure people applying for grants receive tariff advice.

Measures to help improve energy efficiency in the long term which can cut bills include a pilot project within the low carbon buildings programme to introduce fuel saving microgeneration to fuel poor communities.

The initiatives come after Ofgem’s fuel poverty summit last month where attendees called for better energy efficiency in homes and advances in data sharing. The Government measures aim to assist poorer consumers to cut bills for the long term by improving energy efficiency and helping those who need the help most to be easily identified.

Energy minister Malcolm Wicks said: “We’ve got a commitment from the energy companies now to provide an extra £225m in social assistance by increasing their investment to £150m per year by 2011.

“Now we’re working on finding ways to get them the right information to enable them to get that money to those who need it the most. That’s what’s most important right now – making sure the most vulnerable, the elderly, the disabled and young families aren’t cold in their own homes because they can’t pay their bills.”

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