British Gas has launched a new incentive to persuade more people to insulate their homes.
The energy company is offering a £50 cheque to anyone who encourages a low-income friend, neighbour or family member on qualifying benefits to take up its free insulation deal.
The person receiving the insulation will also get a £50 cheque.
Find out more about loft insulation and how could cut your energy bills.
Free home insulation
Under the British Gas scheme, the person who qualifies for free British Gas insulation needs to contact the company and let it know who told them about the deal.
Once the free insulation has been installed a £50 cheque will be sent to both the person who receives the insulation and the person who recommended they take up the deal.
Find out more about the British Gas insulation offer in our guide to cheap and free insulation.
Energy company insulation deals
Many energy companies are offering households free or cut-price insulation as part of a government-backed scheme called the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT).
Under CERT energy companies are obliged to help consumers – including a priority group of elderly and vulnerable people – reduce emissions from their homes.
Which? policy advisor Simon Osborn said: ‘It’s good to see energy companies making an effort to reach vulnerable consumers. Insulation is one of the best ways to reduce energy bills. Insulating a loft, for example, could trim £175 off energy bills each year.
‘If energy companies miss their CERT targets they could be fined up to 10% of their turnover. This money would go to the Government and will not directly help vulnerable consumers reduce their bills.’
Energy company profits
Today British Gas and Scottish Power announced a fall in profits in 2011.
Scottish Power has reported a 41% drop in pre-tax earnings. Residential profits at British Gas are down 30% – however pre-tax profits at parent company Centrica are up 1%.
The news follows a profit announcement from French-owned EDF Energy last week.