An energy firm is going to customers’ doorsteps to give personalised advice on reducing bills as it hears from “many” reporting that they will struggle to pay this winter.
Octopus Energy said it hoped to visit at least 500,000 homes this winter following a summer trial to give customers “actionable, bespoke advice” on how to save energy and reduce bills.
The firm said advice will be tailored to customers’ individual needs and provided by a team of trained energy saving experts.
Octopus said there were several effective ways to lower energy consumption without compromising on comfort, including turning down the water flow temperature of the gas boiler that is heating the home – a measure that could save people up to 8% off their gas bills.
The firm’s DBS-checked “energy helpers” would be able to deliver most advice on the doorstop but would also carry thermal imaging cameras and, if invited in, could identify hidden draughts and suggest low-cost ways to close them.
The rollout comes as Prime Minister Liz Truss is expected to announce a plan to freeze bills this week.
A Government source confirmed a report in The Times that the energy bill freeze will be around the £2,500 mark – more than £500 above the current price cap but £1,000 less than the limit due to be imposed in October – although an insider in the Truss camp said “nothing is finalised yet”.
The plan is based on the current £1,971 energy price cap plus the £400 universal handout announced under Boris Johnson’s government.
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. One hundred per cent of our profits have gone to keeping prices lower for our customers, and we’ve already absorbed £150 million of the cost increase on behalf of them. We also recently doubled our ‘Octo Assist’ fund in size to £15 million, 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 scheme is open from September 7 and Octopus will notify customers when it will be operating in their area.