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Hundreds of Octopus staff have been upskilled as ‘Energy Helpers’ to offer over 500,000 households bespoke energy-saving advice this winter. The help comes as bills are currently expected to rise a further 30 percent in line with the staggering £3,549 (based on typical use) energy price cap from October, which could send thousands into fuel poverty if it goes ahead.
Advice will be tailored to customers’ individual needs and provided by the specially trained energy-saving experts through personal home visits.
The new service, which was trialled over the summer, is now being rolled out country-wide.
What does the new scheme involve?
Octopus’ ‘Energy Helpers’ will offer practical energy-saving advice and personalised measures to help lower energy usage and bring down bills.
Most advice can be delivered at the doorstep, but Octopus’ DBS-checked ‘Energy Helpers’ will also be equipped with thermal imaging cameras in the colder months.
If invited in, they will work to identify hidden draughts in customers’ homes and suggest low-cost ways to close them.
Rebecca Dibb-Simkin, chief product officer at Octopus Energy Group, said: “We speak to over 30,000 customers each day and know that many people are worried and struggling to pay their bills this winter.
“We’re doing all we possibly can to cushion the impact of the crisis on people. 100 percent of our profits have gone to keeping prices lower for our customers, and we’ve already absorbed £150million of the cost increase on behalf of them.
We also recently doubled our ‘Octo Assist’ fund in size to £15million, which has already helped over 55,000 people.
“Our ‘Energy Helpers’ scheme adds a new layer to this support network and means we can provide even more personalised help to our customers this winter.”
The firm’s ‘Winter Workout’ energy efficiency programme, which saw households follow specific tips for 12 weeks, knocked 12 percent off their gas consumption on average last winter, collectively saving households almost £5million on bills.
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Its electric blanket scheme, which was established following findings that heating a person, not the entire home, can save nearly a fifth on their gas bills, helped save customers around £300 on their energy bills.
Octopus Energy said both of these schemes will run again this winter, while the new Energy Helpers scheme will kick start from September 7, 2022.
The firm said: “We will notify customers when they will be in their area, or if customers or local authorities want our Helpers to come to their community, they can register their interest.”
The link to register interest can be found here.
What other support can I get to pay my bills?
For people worried about the energy price cap and how they can pay their bills, the Government is also offering a number of schemes to help those in need.
From a non-repayable £400 energy rebate in October to Warm Home Discounts and Cost of Living Payments, certain initiatives will take shape automatically over the coming months, or people can apply for support.
For more information on the support available, including eligibility and how to apply, visit the Citizen’s Advice page here.
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