Last month, Ofgem increased the energy price cap by £139 a year. The energy price cap limits how much suppliers can charge domestic consumers for gas and electricity, but due to an increase in wholesale gas prices, the cost of operating has subsequently increased for energy suppliers.
Your customers, employees or residents may be concerned about the impact of increased energy bills, and although the government is taking some action, there is still concern among the public.
We’ve pulled together some helpful pointers on how you can support them as we enter the colder months.
Update your advice
The past couple of years have heightened the vulnerability of energy consumers across the UK. If your organisation has ever given energy saving advice, or intends to in the future, it’s more important than ever to update it.
At Energy Saving Trust, we consistently update our data and insights through a variety of sources and a dedicated analytics team, which means our energy-related facts and statistics are more likely to benefit consumers and businesses. Why not consider upskilling your staff to provide high quality energy advice with our energy advice training?
Having trusted services and advice offerings will promote a positive image of your brand and build confidence for the future.
Locate vulnerable customers
While energy saving communications and advice can be applied to almost any home, there are always areas and homes that will benefit more than others. If you have the resources to segment your communications, consider using available geographical data or home energy characteristic data to personalise your communications.
At Energy Saving Trust, we often use building energy data modelling in tandem with our home energy data for clients. We do this by using our Portfolio Energy Assessment Tool, which can run, test and model different scenarios to find the most effective way to get fuel bill savings and SAP score increases.
Figuring out the energy characteristics of the property is the most important first step when providing advice to any customer. The simplest solution is to speak to them through surveys, trained call advisors or digital tools that customers can use themselves. Using this a starting point can help you provide tailored energy saving advice for every customer at scale.
See how we worked with Countrywide Surveying Services to create an online tool designed to support house buyers and homeowners with a home energy action plan.
Our Home Energy Efficiency Tool is a good way to learn how much energy a home uses each year, as it comes with actionable recommendations that homeowners can implement to save money and reduce the environmental impact of their home. After answering a few simple questions, the tool creates a personal action plan to help make the home more energy efficient.
Using technology to tailor advice to customers is the most efficient method of deploying energy advice, but if you have staff who can provide trained energy saving advice, you can still provide effective action plans.
Get customers to track their energy bills
The first step in creating an energy saving action plan will be to create a baseline of current costs, using a customer’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to understand what sort of savings they might achieve.
An EPC is something homeowners should already have. It can help identify ways to save money on their energy bills and make their home more energy efficient. This includes pointing out insulation, lighting, heating, estimated energy use and some potential savings (based on an average household).
Pinpoint high energy-consuming appliances and rooms that are slow to heat
Using a smart meter and making customers aware of the updated energy labels when purchasing new appliances, you can walk customers through some behavioural changes, such as switching off standby at the plug or blocking draughts near doors and windows.
Identify low-cost home improvements and quick wins
Having the funds to afford large home improvement projects or retrofits is a barrier for many householders. Ensure you offer energy saving behavioural advice and ‘quick wins’.
Signpost customers who need funding or additional support
There are various funds and financial schemes across the UK that your customers might be eligible for. There are also advice services that should be able to point them in the right direction, including:
The more customers you can support at home, regardless of your service, the more you’ll be able to engage them with useful communications and increase customer loyalty. If your business would like to know more about how to connect with customers through energy advice, our consultants are ready to help – drop us a message and connect with us today.
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