50,000 vulnerable households given free energy makeovers

British Gas is set to help up to 50,000 of Britain's most hard-pressed households cut their energy bills.

This summer, Britain's largest domestic energy supplier is offering around £10 million-worth of free energy assessments and energy efficiency measures which could cut energy bills by around £250 per year for each home.

In addition to making financial savings, households will be doing their bit for the planet, cutting carbon emissions by a total of nearly 10,000 tonnes across the country - the equivalent of nearly 50,000 people travelling to America by jumbo jet.

Phil Bentley, Managing Director of British Gas, said:

"Improving energy efficiency in our homes is the quickest way to cut our bills and lower carbon emissions. And this initiative will particularly help our most vulnerable and hard-pressed families.

"By targeting free energy assessments and other measures at those who need it most, we can make a real difference to the quality of their lives and do our bit for the planet at the same time."

British Gas will be working with charities, such as National Energy Action, the RNIB the Money Advice Trust and Scope, as well as local MPs, to ensure that help is targeted where it is most needed. British Gas customers over the age of 70, or customers receiving income or disability-related benefits, could be eligible for the free energy assessment.

The British Gas in-home energy assessment is a full energy efficiency survey of the home. All households will receive a personalised and printed energy assessment, which will include behavioural, energy efficiency and money-saving advice as well as a free insulation survey. Eligible households will also receive free insulation and other products, such as electricity monitors and standby savers.

Today's announcement is the latest in a series of plans leading Britain towards a low carbon future and follows news last month that British Gas will install £15million of solar panels on up to 750 schools for free. Each school will be able to generate its own free, green electricity, cutting as much as 20% off its annual electricity bill.

British Gas customers who want to request a free home energy assessment should call 0800 980 5 999.

Note to Editors

Case studies are available upon request. Please call Elliott Grady in the British Gas press office on 0800 107 7015.

Energy efficiency is the quickest and easiest way to save money on energy bills. Simple measures such as loft insulation can save £150 per year. Many homes do not have the basics in place with 5.5 million homes, more than a fifth, in the lowest two bands of energy performance and nearly 13 million lofts without the recommended depth of insulation. Earlier this year British Gas announced its plans to create its own insulation business leading to 1,100 additional jobs.

The average recommended financial saving of a household carrying out a British Gas home energy audit from December 2008 to end of November 2009 is £254 per year. British Gas is giving away up to 50,000 free energy audits which would give a combined national saving of £12.7million and 9,237 tonnes of CO2.

A jumbo jet omits 20,000 lbs of CO2 in one hour of flight = one transatlantic flight to NYC omits 150,000 lbs/67 tonnes (7.5 hours of flight time approximately). The estimated carbon savings from 50,000 energy efficiency packs is 9,237 tonnes - the equivalent of 138 transatlantic flights a year. The average jumbo jet seats 358 passengers. 138 flights at 358 passengers is 49,404 passengers.

Terms & Conditions for "Free Insulation": Offer ends 31 December 2010. We install in mainland GB only, subject to availability and survey. Not valid in North and West Scotland. Offer applies to properties up to but no larger than 140m2 (cavity wall) and 80m2 (loft). Offer excludes scaffolding and any specialist equipment if required. Offer only applies where the thickness of existing insulation is less than 60mm.

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