Green Deal: Advice for vulnerable consumers 2012
The Green Deal and new Energy Company Obligation (ECO) will be introduced to British households from Autumn 2012 with the intention of facilitating improvements in domestic energy efficiency and improved warmth for households.However, it is likely that many vulnerable citizens may not be aware of, or are unwilling to approach the advisory bodies or services that exist or may be established in the future to advise on the support available to help heat their homes affordably.It is also possible that the advice provided by any new advice bodies might not be suitably tailored for vulnerable people.
To address these issues NEA was commissioned by the Department of Energy and Climate Change to identify and evaluate the approaches that can be adopted to ensure that the advice requirements for vulnerable citizens mean they can take advantage of the forthcoming Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation and inform the development of a Green Deal and ECO customer advice service.Ensuring that advice and support services are in place to assist households to access and benefit from these schemes will be essential.
To achieve this NEA invited organisations that work with vulnerable citizens and households to share their views and experiences of delivering advice and communicating with vulnerable households and/or low income communities to share their knowledge and experience with the project team.
The project will culminate in a series of recommendations to DECC on optimal approaches to advice design and delivery as the type of advice and how it is delivered will be key to ensuring that households are both informed and able to act upon the information provided.This will be important for the take-up of the Green Deal and ECO amongst vulnerable groups. A small number of case studies will also be selected to illustrate good and/or innovative practice in communicating with and advising vulnerable citizens.
The research will:
- Help to ensure that the Green Deal customer advice service is developed so that vulnerable households are willing to access and benefit from it.
- Provide recommendations for how fair and equal access to the Green Deal can be achieved and available nationally to offer sustainable energy solutions commensurate to need.
- Inform DECC of the experience and views of experienced frontline agencies.
A full report on the research will be available soon.
For more information please contact Helen Stockton.