Following last November’s announcement that the Energy Saving Trust had become a social enterprise with charitable status, it has now reached a new landmark and been awarded the contract to run the Government’s new energy efficiency advice line by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC).
The new government telephone advice line – a centralised service – will be open to the public’s calls from April this year. With almost 20 years of consumer advice experience, the Trust will draw on its expertise to ensure that the advice given remains at the highest standard. To deliver the service the Energy Saving Trust has partnered with Careline Services, a contact centre outsourcing business with considerable public sector experience. Careline will be responsible for delivering the service from its contact centre in Chiswick.
Ted Brown, new Chair of the Energy Saving Trust, said: “This is a great opportunity to redefine energy saving advice services that are fit for current times while continuing to provide free and impartial advice to UK householders. We’ve beaten very stiff competition to secure this vital service which is a testament to our years of experience in this area and our ability to compete in these very tough market conditions. We look forward to helping people get the right advice at the right time, giving them the confidence to fit energy saving measures which help them to start saving money on their fuel bills.”
Energy and Climate Change Minister, Greg Barker, said: “Having a central and trusted advice line will be crucial to ensuring people have all the right information about how they can save energy and money. It will also be an important source of information for us on what consumers and businesses are saying as we move to launch of the Green Deal later this year. The commencement of the new service in April will be an important step and I expect it to grow quickly over the next six months to become an essential part of Government’s delivery of its energy saving policies.”
Charles Cooper Driver, managing director of Careline Services, said: “The contract with DECC further strengthens our portfolio of public sector clients and brings us ever closer to the heart of the Government’s agenda to deliver high quality public services via highly accessible and cost effective channels.”
The service will provide free and impartial advice to the public on energy saving in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, continuing to support existing schemes such as the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) and Warm Front. It will also support the Green Deal and the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) as these schemes develop. In Scotland, the Trust will continue to run its existing advice service on behalf of the Scottish Government.
The new advice service starts on 2 April. It is expected that calls to the existing Energy Saving Trust energy advice helpline 0800 512012 will be routed to the new phone number, with the exception of Scotland where the current services will continue.