No 10 rejects ‘tailor-made’ energy-saving measures but will reinforce existing messages | UK cost of living crisis

Downing Street said it would not offer a ‘tailor-made campaign’ to help people find ways to save energy, but would step up a separate Cabinet Office campaign which would set the support at cost of life.

Number 10 denied the move was a reversal of previous suggestions that Liz Truss was ‘ideologically opposed’ to informing households about methods to save money on energy.

Last week the Guardian revealed that the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy had started work on a campaign asking households to turn down their thermostats and run their dishwashers and washing machines on when energy demand is lower.

The measures had been discussed between the commercial department, the energy companies and the network operator National Grid.

However, the business department then said there were ‘no plans for the government to tell the public to reduce consumption for the sake of our energy supplies’.

Truss has strongly opposed ‘nanny state’ policies, but Cabinet Minister Nadhim Zahawi said the campaign to encourage household energy saving would have cost up to £15million and had was dropped for cost reasons.

Zahawi said on Sunday that any new government campaign would have been similar to information campaigns by the National Grid and regulator Ofgem and risked repeating themselves.

On Monday, Number 10 announced it would be stepping up its Household Aid campaign, a website launched in July detailing all the government support available to help with the cost of living, including freezing utility bills. energy and additional support measures for vulnerable households. Daytime television commercials began airing on weekends, following the start of poster and radio commercials in July.

The Truss spokesperson said the campaign would also show consumers ways to cut their energy bills – but linking them to campaigns from Ofgem and the National Grid. The current version of the site does not offer additional advice beyond links to the external site.

“We’re looking at ways to use existing campaigns to flag people more,” the spokesperson said. “The Help for Households site has significant details about the energy price guarantee and it has details of how people can save more through things like insulation if you put in relevant information, and it links to other sites like Ofgem.”

Asked if the Prime Minister was opposed to going further, the spokesman said the information was ‘readily available and we are pointing people to it’. Number 10 said there had been 3 million visits to the site since July and 40% had sought more information on gov.uk or other sites.

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