Raman Bhatia, the CEO of OVO Energy, has vowed to “step up” in tackling the energy crisis, as millions of households across the country are on the brink of fuel poverty, speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk. The UK is currently gripped by an unprecedented fossil fuel energy crisis, the wholesale cost of gas- which spiked following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine- has passed down to consumers, who are now facing unaffordable energy bills. The Government has currently capped the energy bills at £2,500 a year until April, almost double the amount in August 2021.
To help ease the difficulties faced by households, energy firm OVO has unveiled a new service that it believes will help households slash their energy bills by £260.
Under this scheme, which will be first trialled for hundreds in the southwest, trained energy experts from the company will visit households to provide a free home assessment on how they can increase their energy efficiency.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, OVO’s CEO Raman Bhatia: We are stepping up. Our latest Energy Experts trial offers a free home health report to help show households how they could save up to £260 on bills per year through simple changes and a free energy tracker to help reduce their energy usage.
“71 percent of consumers think that green technology is too complicated or too expensive to adopt. Yet small changes – such as draught-proofing gaps – could save £125 per year.”
However, Mr Bhatia noted that these measures were not just about getting the country through the winter, as energy efficiency measures “future-proof our homes” for winters to come, improving our energy resilience through insulation.
This comes weeks after the Government announced a new £1 billion ECO+ scheme, that will aim to insulate hundred of thousands of homes across the country, helping them save an estimated £310 a year.
Of this new funding, around 80 percent will be made available for those households who are in some of the least energy-efficient homes in the country, meaning that they have an EPC rating D or below.
Mr Bhatia hailed this move as “an encouraging step forward”, adding that “energy companies now need to match this ambition and go even further for their customers; we have a collective responsibility to support families across the UK this winter and beyond.”
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He said: “The energy crisis must be a catalyst for change. We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to drive a vaccination-style rollout to insulate and improve as many homes as possible.
“Energy companies and the Government have a responsibility to make the case for energy-efficient buildings and help households upgrade their draughty homes. We need to take immediate action now or face a future where the shocks in the fossil-fuel markets will continue to burden families across the UK.”
OVO noted that according to recent research by the University of Warwick, the UK could save more than £10billion could be saved on energy bills each year if leaky homes were upgraded and insulated.
By reducing household reliance on expensive imported natural gas, the Treasury could save the huge sums of money it planned on using for the Energy Price Guarantee.
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Mr Bhatia continued: “Energy companies, the housing industry and the Government need to work together to make our homes more energy efficient. If we don’t act now, we will miss the opportunity to tackle the energy crisis head on.
OVO’s scheme comes after recent polling found that 88 percent of Britons would like more help managing their energy bills, with 76 percent of those surveyed saying that it was their number one priority for saving cash in 2023.
While over two thirds of those surveyed (71 percent), believed that “green technology” measures are too complicated and expensive to adopt, OVO noted that even the most simple energy measures – such as insulation for a hot water cylinder and low energy light bulbs – can cost up to £175 but generate a saving of £135 per year.
In total, the company estimates that their free energy service could help customers save up to £260 by highilighting simple measures and behavioural changes, and will also give them a free Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).