Energy Retail Association


Energy Retail Association

The Energy Retail Association (ERA), formed in 2003, is a trade association that represents Britain's electricity and gas suppliers in the domestic market in Great Britain.

Introduction

The ERA is located in the SW1 district of London and is headed by the Chief Executive, Dr Garry Felgate. He is given high level direction from a Board made up of the Chief Executive Officers and Managing Directors of the six member companies.

All the main energy suppliers operating in the residential market in Great Britain are members of the association:

* EDF Energy
* British Gas
* RWE nPower
* Scottish and Southern Energy plc
* Scottish Power
* E.ON Powergen

Since its inception, the ERA has ultimately focused on finding ways to continually improve customers’ experiences with their electricity and gas suppliers. This means that it leads on issues such as:

* Tackling fuel poverty and protecting vulnerable customers
* Delivering energy efficiency schemes
* Ensuring good sales practice
* Developing hassle-free systems for changing electricity or gas supplier
* Developing industry standards for customer billing
* Preventing debt and disconnections

Fuel poverty and help for vulnerable customers

The definition of fuel poverty is a household that spends more than 10% of its income on heating and lighting. Approximately 3 million households in Britain suffer from fuel poverty.

Fuel poverty is caused by a combination of factors including:

* Energy efficiency and condition of the home
* Fuel costs
* Household income
* Heavy debt
* Low benefits take-up

Since 1996, 2.5 million people have been taken out of fuel poverty through the efforts of energy suppliers working with social welfare organisations

UK Fuel Poverty Strategy (2001) set a target for Government to seek to end fuel poverty by 2016 and take all vulnerable households out of fuel poverty by 2010.

The ERA launched the [http://www.homeheathelpline.org/ Home Heat Helpline] (0800 33 66 99) in October 2005. It is a free, not for profit national helpline for vulnerable people having difficulties paying their fuel bills. The [http://www.homeheathelpline.org/ Home Heat Helpline] offers callers advice on cheaper payment schemes, grants for insulating your home, how to get on to the Priority Services Register for extra services and information on extra government benefits that you may be entitled to. More information can be found on the [http://www.homeheathelpline.org/ Home Heat Helpline] website.

ee also

* Association of Electricity Producers
* Energy Networks Association
* [http://www.energy-retail.org.uk/ Energy Retail Association website]
* [http://www.homeheathelpline.org/ Home Heat Helpline website]


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