As part of the STEP project, Lithuanian consumer group ALCO has been finding innovative ways to support vulnerable consumers and the energy poor. One of the most interesting recent initiatives took place in the municipality of Tuaragė.
In collaboration with energy supplier Tauragės šilumos tinklai, ALCO managed to promote its services and energy support hotline through a message printed directly on users’ energy bills. The printed message advises consumers of the energy advice hotline, the purpose of the service, and directs them to ALCO’s website, as well as providing the hotline number.
The idea was realised when Kęstutis Kupšys of ALCO reached out to the Tauragė supplier “šilumos tinklai” to discuss how they could work together to tackle energy poverty. “In discussion with the supplier, we realised that one of the fastest ways to get in touch with struggling consumers would be to advertise our energy advice hotline directly on their bill,” commented Mr Kupšys.
So far, these special bills have reached 5,200 consumers across the municipality, and have led to increased calls to the hotline. “The initiative has gone down well with consumers who are struggling during the energy crisis,” Mr Kupšys said, “the next question is whether we can continue to expand the initiative even further across the country”.
May 2022 Update: Following significant expansion of this programme across Vilnius, an estimated 200,000 consumers were reached with the phone line printed on their energy bills.