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    Loss of gas – Ingham 10 Jul 2024 12: 30 PM

    Half of UK consumers feel powerless to reduce energy bills and remain confused about vital support available

    20 February 2023

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    Louise Day

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    • A lack of accurate energy-saving information means people can’t work out how to reduce consumption, with some applying ‘rules of thumb’ that could increase costs.
    • Cadent keen to work with Government’s new Department of Energy, Security and Net Zero to prioritise consumer help with bills.
    • Winter Energy Efficiency Campaign, shares important savings tips, while shining a light on where households can access extra support.

    As part of a major new consumer confidence series, Cadent, the UK’s largest gas network with over 11 million customers, has revealed that more than half of British households feel completely powerless to reduce their energy bills. More worryingly, a lack of energy-saving information means some people are even using inaccurate ‘rules of thumb’ that could significantly increase costs.

    According to the figures from Cadent and Britain Thinks, collected as part of a long-term ‘Energy Diaries’ study last year, around three-quarters (73%) of the public would like just one comprehensive information source, with families remaining confused about how to reduce rocketing bills. There is also a clear lack of understanding by households on what additional support is available to them from providers. The insight is the first part of a series into consumer confidence on energy in collaboration with Britain Thinks.

    Mark Belmega, Director of Sustainability and Social Purpose at Cadent, commented: “We know this winter is already proving to be long and difficult for many of our customers and we’re helping tens of thousands of households through a range of targeted interventions, ranging from energy and income advise, through to installing in-home energy efficiency measures, much of which we’re funding directly through our Cadent Foundation. As we do so, we’re hearing more and more worrying stories from families that just cannot cope with the rocketing costs. The purpose of our consumer confidence series with Britain Thinks is to really get under the skin of the UK population, to not only uncover insight but importantly, gain real clarity on what they need from the energy sector to help manage bills.

    “As a direct response to the insight from the Energy Diaries, before winter, we launched our own energy efficiency campaign with cost-saving tips, while encouraging consumers to explore the support available to them. We’re working as part of an ecosystem of public and private organisations and charities, each playing a role in supporting people living in, or close to, fuel poverty. For example, we focus on keeping the gas flowing safely and should a vulnerable family need to have their boiler disconnected for safety reasons, we have a fund available to provide additional welfare products and services whilst off gas and, where necessary, pay for replacement internal appliances, ensuring they are back on gas as quickly and safely as possible.

    “But we know this doesn’t go far enough and so we are keen to share our findings with the new Department of Energy, Security and Net Zero to help prioritise the financial support for families across the UK, particularly those who are increasingly more vulnerable

    The first part of the Cadent / Britain Thinks consumer confidence series surveyed over 2,100 UK consumers.

    Key findings include:

    • Three quarters (74%) of the public are anxious about the cost of their energy bills.
    • Few know about existing support for people struggling with energy bills, with only 24% believing their energy supplier has funding or financial support available.
    • 53% of consumers feel there is no point in contacting their energy supplier, as they don’t believe there’s any help available.
    • Only 14% think the Government is doing all it can and only 13% believe the energy industry has supported customers as much as possible.

    Several of the participants also shared their views via ‘Energy Diary’ video interviews which can be seen here.

    Cadent

    Cadent is the UK’s largest gas distribution network with a 200-year legacy. We are in a unique position to build on strong foundations whilst encouraging the curiosity to think differently and the courage to embrace change. Day to day we continue to operate, maintain and innovate the UK’s largest gas network, transporting gas safely and protecting people in an emergency. Our skilled engineers and specialists remain committed to the communities we serve, working day and night to ensure gas reaches 11 million homes from Cumbria to North London and the Welsh Borders to East Anglia, to keep your energy flowing.

    Future of Gas:

    Here at Cadent we support the Government’s plans to reach Net Zero by 2050. That means we’re backing the introduction of hydrogen as a low carbon alternative to natural gas for the future. We know people love the controllability of gas and, with our network already in place, it makes sense to switch to the lower carbon alternative offered by hydrogen, which we believe can keep homes and businesses warm for generations to come.

    Cadent manages the national gas emergency service free phone line on behalf of the gas industry - 0800 111 999*

    Cadent Gas Ltd is owned by a consortium of global investors.

    *All calls are recorded and may be monitored.

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