All Posts (167)

Renewable Heat Incentive roadshows

Did you know that people can get extra money to help them replace the heating system in their home? The Renewable Heat Incentive gives people regular payments to install new technologies - so they can save energy and money. The Department of Energy and Climate Change are on the road in February and March talking to local authorities, businesses and consumers about Renewable Heating, energy efficiency and the Green Deal. The events are free to attend. People can reserve their space at - workshops will take place in Ipswich, Norwich and Lincoln next week.

If DECC are not visiting your area, people can find out more at or by calling the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234.

Read more…

‘Power to switch’ launches

The Government’s ‘Power to Switch’ campaign went live today, and you should hopefully see adverts on your TV, on billboards and in newspapers over the coming weeks.

We are pleased to say that the BESN formed a key part of the campaign announcement on Monday, with BESN delivery partner Manor House Development Trust featuring on ITV’s Good Morning Britain!

You can see the segment here on the ITV player (sign up & log in required) at about 38mins 30secs into the programme. The feature provided some really positive coverage of the Network, and you will see the presenters were very positive about the idea of community-based energy advice!

Campaign materials

You are now able to access the campaign’s promotional materials should you wish to use these to support your BESN delivery. The materials are in a password-protected dropbox folder This includes:

•TV ad for YouTube
•TV ad for Facebook (Facebook and YouTube have the same spec, so there's just one video in the folder in total)
•All digital adverts to date
•Press adverts in format close to A5

The password to access this folder is: SwitchandSave2015

If you want to see the TV advert now, you can find it on Youtube here:

And you can read more about the campaign launch at Manor House on DECC’s ‘Keep Warm This Winter’ Facebook page here:!/warmthiswinter

Read more…

Energy Switching Campaign

DECC will be announcing an energy switching campaign next week. It will run until the end of March. The aim of the campaign is to encourage more people to switch their energy supplier/tariff to save money. There will be a widespread media campaign, including newspaper, radio and television advertising. The primary audience are those who have never switched or who have not switched recently.

We would like the Network to help us reach consumers who may need additional help with switching. We are developing campaign materials that we can share with you prior to the launch on Thursday 19th February. This will include a press release and downloadable posters for you to use. Members of the Network are encouraged to refer people to the website (which will go live from Tuesday 17th) or call the ESAS phone number (0300 123 1234).

***Please note that we thought it would be useful to give you advance warning of the launch of the campaign, however this information is embargoed until Monday 16th February 2015 so we ask that you not share it more widely until then***

Please let us know how you get on with promoting this campaign by sending an email to

Government Electricity Rebate

In addition to the switching campaign, we would like your help to let as many pre-payment meter customers know that time is running out for them to redeem their £12 Government Electricity Rebate Voucher if they haven’t done so already. They must use their voucher by 28 February 2015. After this, they will not be able to get the rebate.

The Government Electricity Rebate is a £12 government contribution to help lower the impacts of Government environmental and social policy costs on consumer energy bills. It is part of a wider package of measures which will reduce household energy bills by an average of around £50 per year.

We particularly want to focus our communications on areas where there has been low uptake of the voucher. This includes areas such as:

• Aberdeen
• Brighton
• Bristol
• Canterbury
• Croydon
• Dundee
• Ilford
• Liverpool
• London
• Perth
• Southampton

We would encourage you to use your communication channels to tell people that the £12 rebate is available for a limited period only and for them not to miss out.

Pay As You Go customers were sent a voucher in November 2014 to be redeemed for electricity credit when they topped up at their retail outlet. PayPoint, Payzone and Post Office outlets are all able to transfer the credit onto customers’ Pay As You Go keys.

If people haven’t got their pre-payment voucher, they should contact their energy supplier. To find out more information visit GOV.UK

Read more…

Downloading documents from Ning

** This has now been resolved and you should be able to download documents/files as usual **


We are aware that there is a temporary issue preventing you from downloading some of the documents available on Ning - we are working to resolve this ASAP. In the meantime, if you require copies of any documents that the BESN Team have uploaded to Ning, i.e. the Top Tips or case study templates, please contact and we'll send you them via email.

Thanks, the BESN Team

Read more…

The UK is increasingly under threat from the effects of climate change – which in turn could increase inequalities and disadvantage.

A new website launched today – Climate Just - is designed to help local authorities and other organisations working on climate change, or working with vulnerable communities, to respond to this challenge.

The site has been developed in partnership by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Climate UK, the Environment Agency and the University of Manchester.

Climate Just highlights which people and places are likely to be most vulnerable to the impacts of extreme weather, including flooding and extreme heat, and actions that can be taken to respond. It provides a wealth of free resources, including:

• information on which people and places are most vulnerable to climate impacts;
• maps that identify areas of social vulnerability, exposure to flooding and heat and overall climate disadvantage in your local area;
• information about who is most at risk of fuel poverty and how to tackle this;
• case studies showing how different organisations are responding to climate change;
• tools, reports and presentations to help you to take action.

Read more…

The Cold Weather Payment

We know that January and February are usually the coldest months (on average) and so you would expect to see a higher number of Cold Weather Payments (CWP) being triggered. This has indeed been the case and to date CWPs have been triggered 24 times, but before January there had been just 6 triggers resulting in payments to just 11,200 people – all of which were in Scotland.

Please find below a summary of the CWP and an update on CWPs made to date (23rd Jan 2015) this season. You will see from the information below that triggers have increased to 24 (the vast majority in Scotland) with the number of recipients increasing to 324,700 (just over half were in receipt of Pension Credit).

The Cold Weather Payment

The Social Fund Cold Weather Payments scheme runs from 1 November to 31 March each year – this is known as the CWP season – and is intended to help people to meet their additional heating costs during periods of extreme cold.

Payment is made automatically when the average temperature at the weather station linked to an eligible customer’s postcode has been recorded as, or is forecast to be, zero degrees Celsius or below over 7 consecutive days. There are 93 weather stations used in the Cold Weather Payments scheme for 2014 to 2015. The payment is £25 for each 7-day period of very cold weather.

Payments are made to those most vulnerable to the cold:
• older people receiving Pension Credit
• disabled adults and children
• families with children aged under 5 that are receiving an income-related benefit

2014-15 season stats update:

• DWP estimates that this season that there are 3.8 million eligible recipients of the CWP, 2.1 million (55%) of these are older people in receipt of Pension Credit.
• So far this season 337,000 payments have been made to 324,700 recipients; of these payments 185,800 were made to older people in receipt of Pensioner Credit.
• Estimated expenditure to date this season is £8,425,000; £4645000 of this expenditure has been among Pension Credit recipients.
• CWPs to date (November 1st 2014 – 23rd January 2015) are mostly in Scotland, with a small number in Yorkshire, one in Cumbria and one in Wales

Source: DWP 2015

Read more…

Ovo Energy price decrease

Ovo Energy have announced a drop in the price of its Standard Variable Tariff – Simpler – by 5.8% (for dual fuel, 10.4% drop for gas) to reflect falling wholesale costs, resulting in an average saving of £65 per year - see more on their website.

Read more…

Information on Smart Meters

Following on from the presentation and discussion on the introduction of smart meters at the recent BESN Workshops, we'd like to signpost you to a DECC leaflet explaining how data from smart meters is expected to transform the market for energy services.

Read more…

Recent research from Ofgem has shown that the gap between average variable tariffs and the cheapest fixed tariffs is so wide most consumers would be better off on a fixed deal. Despite the recent cuts to variable prices, the potential saving of up to £250 means that most consumers would be better off moving to a fixed deal.

Ofgem’s research also found that some of the cheapest fixed tariffs were with independent suppliers with some fixed deals at around £915 per year, compared to £1,1651 for the average variable tariff with one of the larger suppliers. Around half of customers switching supplier now move to independent suppliers.

Read more and have a look at Ofgem's infographic here.

Read more…

The revised code requires accredited sites to meet tighter standards on how tariffs are displayed. This is so consumers can be confident that deals aren’t hidden from view. Sites will also have to list prominently which energy companies they have commission arrangements with, and make it clear that they earn commission on certain tariffs. Read more on Ofgem's website here.

Read more…

Ecotricity to reduce the price of gas

Ecotricity, an independent energy supplier, has reduced the price of gas for all its customers by 6.1%, providing the biggest recent cut in the industry. The company, which specialises in building windfarms and supplying low-carbon power, will make the reduction on 1 May 2015 in a move designed to cut about £42 a year from typical domestic bills.

Read more…

ScottishPower to cut gas prices by 4.8%

ScottishPower has become the third major gas supplier to announce a price cut, with the news it is to reduce prices by 4.8% from 20 February 2015. Customers on the standard tariff will make an average saving of £33 on their annual gas bills as a result.

Read more…

British Gas reduces its prices

British Gas has become the second of the Big Six energy suppliers to cut household gas prices, reducing its prices by 5 per cent. The UK's biggest domestic energy supplier, part of the Centrica group, said the cut would reduce the typical household's annual energy bill by £37.

Read more…

Fuel Poverty Forums

NEA holds regular Fuel Poverty Forums throughout England and Wales - these events are designed to bring together key partners and stakeholders to discuss issues and practical solutions to tackle fuel poverty.

To check when the next Forum is taking place and to book your free place, see here.

Read more…