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British Gas offers ‘free’ energy makeovers

Households could save £250 a year on bills

Energy giant British Gas is offering ‘free’ energy makeovers to vulnerable customers – but in it’s consumers who are footing much of the bill.

Vulnerable British Gas customers are being offered free energy makeovers, which could help them save them £250 a year on their energy bills.

The makeovers include a home energy efficiency survey, plus energy efficiency products such as loft and cavity wall insulation, standby savers and electricity monitors – you can find out which energy monitors we rate as Best Buys in our energy monitors review.

British Gas says it will spend around £10m to help 50,000 households, but in fact it’s consumers who are funding the scheme.

Consumers footing the bill

Which? senior policy adviser Dr Fiona Cochrane said: ‘While the ‘makeover’ element is a nice addition, in fact British Gas is obligated by the government to provide most of these energy efficiency measures anyway.

‘In order to meet their Carbon Emission Reduction Target (CERT), all energy suppliers must achieve a set level of energy saving by assisting their customers to take energy-efficiency measures in their home.

‘The CERT scheme is funded through consumer energy bills, and costs on average £45 per household – so in reality Brits are paying for these ‘free’ makeovers themselves.’

How to apply

The free energy makeovers are available to British Gas customers who are either aged over 70 or who receiving income or disability-related benefits. To apply for the scheme or to find out whether you are eligible, you can call British Gas on 0800 980 5999.

British Gas has told Which? that there is no firm deadline for the scheme, but expects it to come to an end around mid-September. So if you are tempted by the offer, apply now to avoid disappointment.

We’ve got several articles that can help you make your home more energy efficient. Check out our guides on how to use less electricity and energy-saving appliances and find out whether you could be eligible for money towards energy-efficient measures in our energy grants guide.

Lower your gas and electricity bills

You can compare energy prices and switch to a new gas and electricity supplier on Which? Switch. People who switched with us between 1 October and 31 December 2013 are predicted to save an average of £234 a year on their bills.

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