Municipalities should set up “one-stop shops” to help people save money on their energy bills this winter, a green think tank has said.
Green Alliance has called on local authorities to set up counseling centers in vacant stores to provide residents with information on how to lower their energy bills and help them access loans and grants for energy-saving solutions such as insulation.
In addition to lowering bills during the immediate cost of living crisis, the think tank said providing more information would also help people lower their energy bills in the long run.
Now is not just the time to keep people warm this winter, but every winter after
Sam Alvis, head of economics at Green Alliance, said: “We are in an emergency. The government is looking at how much it will cost to support the energy bill.
“That means we have to use every tool in the box, in addition to emergency aid to protect households, to reduce energy waste and demand for gas.
“Now is the time not just to keep people warm this winter, but every winter after that, to unlock the financial and information barriers that keep people from accessing money-saving technologies.”
Green Alliance pointed to Public First polls showing that a lack of information was a major barrier to people cutting their energy bills.
A poll of 2,000 British adults in May found that 40% did not know how much it would cost to install low-carbon home improvements, while 90% thought more information about insulation measures would help people make changes to their homes.
Government interventions so far have focused on subsidizing energy bills in the winter, and opposition parties have criticized the lack of action to reduce energy consumption in the long term as a way to permanently lower bills.
Together with local council advice centers, Green Alliance called for a national advertising campaign, similar to the Covid-19 “Hands. Face. Space” ads, to tell people how to reduce their energy consumption.