The Department for Energy and Climate Change has announced the creation of a Big Energy Saving Network, which it will be ploughing some £900,000 into during 2013/14.

This scheme is aiming to reach out to vulnerable people to help them drive down their utility bills by making their homes more energy efficient. 

UK fuel poverty charity NEA has welcomed the measures. It noted that even with an effective competitive market, and all the measures already put in place by the government, vulnerable consumers still need extra help to give them the confidence to make decisions that will cut their bills. 

The Network is to build on the work of existing support networks, and will also seek to provide a clearer focus on encouraging vulnerable consumers to take action when it comes to energy efficiency. 

They will develop and agree key messages, develop the capability of advisors through training on tariffs, switching, and how to access energy efficiency programmes. 

The service will also identify best practice when it comes to targeting and delivering outreach events to vulnerable consumers. 

It will work to identify other national and local organisations to extend the reach of the advice provision. Furthermore, it will deliver switching, tariff and energy efficiency advice directly to consumers. 

NEA chief executive Jenny Saunders commented:  "NEA is delighted to be named by Ed Davey as a member and looks forward to being part of the government's new Big Energy Saving Network. 

“By pooling our collective knowledge and resources we can assist more vulnerable households save money on their energy bills and access energy efficiency measures and advice. 

“Government has responded to our calls for extra help for disadvantaged customers to take advantage of the changes it is introducing through reforms to the competitive energy market. "