Home Heat Helpline closes after a decade of service
Following a comprehensive review of Home Heat Helpline, Energy UK and the energy suppliers who fund the service have decided to close the Helpline effective from 1 July 2016.
Home Heat Helpline has provided an important service offering free help and advice for those struggling to pay their energy bills since it launched in 2005. Over the past ten years the Helpline has taken over 400,000 calls, assisting households with questions and queries about their energy bills and usage. Although the Helpline is closing, it is important to highlight the support provided by energy suppliers to their elderly, low-income and/or vulnerable customers, including the Warm Home Discount, remains unchanged and there will be no loss of support for people in need.
When it comes to looking for help, consumer behaviour has changed a lot over the last decade and help is now available from other telephone, online and face-to-face advice services. With these factors in mind, as well as a significant reduction in call volumes to the Helpline, it was a logical decision to close the service.
Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK, which managed the Home Heat Helpline, said:
“I am extremely proud of the service Home Heat Helpline has provided over the ten years it has been in operation. The Helpline has identified thousands of customers who are entitled to additional help with their energy bills and put them in touch with their suppliers.
“Suppliers spend hundreds of millions of pounds a year on supporting vulnerable customers through programmes like the Warm Home Discount and the Energy Companies Obligation.
“It is important we remain flexible and ensure we provide the best service for our customers. With the closure of Home Heat Helpline, we will now focus on signposting customers to services that can provide the most suitable help for them.”