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Following Ofgem’s announcement of a 54 per cent rise in energy costs in April, the Effective Energy Group has called on the Government to help take pressure off consumers by putting greater focus on reducing energy consumption.

The Nottinghamshire-based Group, which is a leading national energy efficiency and fuel poverty scheme provider, says the price hike will send another two million households into fuel poverty – meaning over six million households in England and Wales will be classed as being in fuel poverty.

And while the energy companies Energy Company Obligation scheme (ECO4), and various Government funded schemes aimed at low income and fuel poor households, are set to see around £3billion each year ploughed into retrofitting homes with energy reduction measures from April 2022 to 2025, the Group sees that step as being insufficient.

Neil Marshall, the Effective Energy Group’s director of external affairs, said: “The energy crisis will affect each and every one of us, but for those already living in fuel poverty or pushed into fuel poverty by the energy price rises, things are going to be very tough; while millions more are suddenly going to find themselves struggling with their increased energy bills.”

The Effective Energy Group is calling for a two-pronged approach to counteracting rising energy prices.

1) All homes that are categorised as being in fuel poverty (i.e. greater than 10 per cent of their monthly income being spent on energy bills) should be surveyed, given an energy efficient plan that outlines steps and savings available, and then supported financially through fully funded measures to take the steps needed to make the biggest possible savings.

2) All other households (non-fuel poor) to be incentivised into taking action to reduce energy consumption through Green Grants; fiscal incentives such as reductions on Council Tax and Stamp Duty for energy efficient properties; and help to pay measures such as low interest or interest free loans.

“We all know that while prices go up, they rarely go back down,” added Neil. “Therefore, no matter how feverish the reaction to this latest price hike, these prices will soon become the norm. The only way to keep monthly bills at manageable levels is by reducing energy consumption, and green measures are proven to do this.”

The Effective Energy Group recently launched Help4Homes – a scheme that provides energy saving advice, free heating, insulation and white goods and an income maximisation service for low-income and vulnerable households struggling to pay their energy bills and meet the qualifying criteria. Backed by leading energy companies, by the end of March it will have seen close to £500k directed into helping homes in need during its first four months of operation – with the income maximisation proving particularly effective.