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Government ramps up fuel poverty offerings

The Government today announced a raft of new measures to help vulnerable consumers, especially the elderly, make their homes warmer and more energy efficient.

One of the measures - designed to help with bills and ensure consumers are on the best value tariff - includes seeking a change in the law to allow data-sharing with energy suppliers.

Another includes spending £3 million as part of a pilot project within the low carbon buildings programme (LCBP) to introduce fuel saving microgeneration to fuel poor communities.

The Government said it plans to conduct a pilot scheme to ensure people applying for Warm Front grants are referred to their energy supplier for tariff advice so that they can make maximum savings. The pilot will be trialled by 3,000 households.

The Government also plans to spend £150,000 to fund a roll out of Ofgem's national Citizens Advice Bureau awareness campaign on social assistance for the vulnerable.

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 Department for Business, Energy and Regulatory Reform (BERR) said it would publish the results of its consultation paper on heat. Responses from the call for evidence will help the Government develop a heat strategy and measures to reduce demand for heat, BERR said.

This will help reduce heating bills in fuel poor communities. There will be a formal consultation on the Heat Strategy in Autumn.