During Big Energy Week SSE is working with Citizens Advice, charities, consumer groups, switching sites, Ofgem and the Government to give practical advice to people across the country to help them spend less on heating and powering their home.

Through its energy supply brands - Southern Electric (www.southern-electric.co.uk), Scottish Hydro (www.hydro.co.uk), SWALEC (www.swalec.co.uk) and Atlantic (www.atlantic.co.uk), SSE is demonstrating its backing for Big Energy Week by announcing today that it is:

- offering free cavity wall and loft insulation deals to any customer who has not yet taken action to insulate their home.1 According to the Energy Saving Trust, a customer who has not taken any action to insulate their home could save up to £175 per year by insulating their loft and up to £125 per year through cavity wall insulation.

- expanding the support it provides to vulnerable customers, through the Warm Home Discount scheme and a new hardship fund. SSE now expects to provide support to over 50,000 customers not covered by either its existing schemes for vulnerable customers or the ‘core’ group of customers covered by the Warm Home Discount scheme. This follows a successful proactive campaign to identify customers eligible for the Warm Home Discount rebate. Applications for this support are still being accepted. SSE expects to spend £46m in this financial year providing financial support to more than 400,000 vulnerable and low income customers.2

- introducing an annual energy review during 2012 for every customer. This review will ensure customers are on the best tariff for their needs and identify other measures that they could take to reduce the amount spent on heating and powering their home. This was one of the ten actions SSE committed to introduce as part of its ‘Building Trust’ initiative launched in October 2011.3 Where possible, SSE is already proactively advising every customer calling its call centres about actions they could take to reduce the amount they pay for their energy. For example, advising that a typical customer could save around £75 a year if they pay by direct debit rather than on receipt of a bill each quarter.

- providing more information to customers about the costs that go into making up their bill, including the level of profit that SSE makes from supplying energy to a typical customer. To help customers understand better the things they are paying for through their bill, from today SSE will begin providing a breakdown of all the costs that make up a customer’s bill. This will initially be available online but will be published on every customer bill by the end of April. This breakdown shows that the profit SSE’s makes on a typical energy bill is only around five per cent. This was one of the ten actions SSE committed to introduce as part of its ‘Building Trust’ initiative launched in October 2011.3

SSE advisors will be attending Big Energy Week events at locations around the country, including London, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Reading to give advice and support to customers with concerns. In addition, SSE will promote Big Energy Week events through its websites and Twitter channels and also highlight ways for customers to take advantage of relevant savings.4

Advice on cutting energy bills is also available at www.bigenergyweek.org.uk. and customers can contact their local Citizens Advice Bureaux for further energy saving advice.

Last week SSE announced that it will cut its unit price for household gas by 4.5% from 26 March 2012. Around 3.5 million households in Britain will benefit from the reduction, which will cut SSE’s typical gas bill by around £28 a year. SSE has also decided to extend by another two months its commitment to cap household electricity and gas prices, from August 2012 to October 2012. This means that it will not implement any price increases before October 2012 at the earliest, but will implement more price reductions if it can

Tony Keeling, SSE's Director of Customer Service said:
"SSE is very supportive of Big Energy Week and its objectives. We want to help our customers take advantage of every means possible to reduce their energy bill and Big Energy Week is an excellent opportunity for customers to check that they are doing so.

“We will be encouraging all customers of our retail brands: Scottish Hydro, Swalec, Atlantic, Southern Electric and SSE to get in touch with us, or speak to an advisor through the Big Energy Week website and local events, to find out how they can take advantage of insulation deals, get onto a better tariff or take up other offerings which will enable them to make savings.

“I also hope that the price reduction and related package of measures we announced last week, will give our customers some respite from the seemingly endless rises in household costs and show them that we will bring down prices when we can.”

1. More information on these deals can be found through the following link on each of SSE’s supply brand websites:
www.southern-electric.co.uk/bigenergyweek
www.hydro.co.uk/bigenergyweek
www.swalec.co.uk/bigenergyweek
www.atlantic.co.uk/bigenergyweek
www.sse.co.uk/bigenergyweek

2. SSE outlined the full range of support it was providing to energy customers in Oct 2011 - http://www.sse.com/PressReleases2011/HelpWinterEnergyCustomers/

3. http://www.sse.com/BuildingTrust/

4. SSE’s Twitter channels are @sse, @southernelec, @scottishhydro, @swalec

Published on: 5:11PM on 16th January 2012