From today, £1million is available for charity and community organisations so they can reach vulnerable consumers and advise them on how to save money on their bills. This will include advice on switching tariffs, the different bill payment methods available, and information on the various Government schemes that help lower bills – such as the Energy Company Obligation.

Organisations including parish councils, community energy groups, charities, faith groups and registered social landlords are invited to bid for funding to help run projects that run this autumn and winter.

Ed Davey, Energy and Climate Change Secretary said:

"We are doing everything possible to help people cut their energy bills. But there are some things they can do to help themselves, like making sure they’re signed up to a competitive energy deal, and if they’re not, switching. We’ve made switching easier and faster and it can save hundreds of pounds.

"This new funding means vital energy saving guidance can be targeted where it is needed most, so I urge local authorities, community groups and charities to come forward and help to take on this challenge."

Last year nearly 160 projects across Great Britain received Big Energy Saving Network funding. For example, Wealden District Council, in partnership with community engagement company Communities Matter, used £4,000 worth of funding to create the first ever energy "pop-up shop" in East Sussex. The pop-up energy advice centre offered practical advice to local people on how to cut costs on energy bills, tips on lowering energy bills and how to switch suppliers, in a bid to help residents make their homes more energy efficient and tackle local fuel poverty.

A further 160 projects are expected to be successful in obtaining the grant funding this year to help more people save on their energy bills. Each project will recruit and train an army of volunteers – 500 in total – to carry out the advice programmes this winter.