A NEW council-backed scheme will help householders tackle fuel poverty and save money by switching their energy provider.

A recent survey estimates almost a quarter of Glasgow households suffer fuel poverty.

As a result, councillors are considering a new service which could help cut bills.

It will be run by G-HEAT and Citrus Energy which both offer home energy advice.

The organisations, which are both social enterprises, have come together to provide an impartial, independent energy switching advice service for individual households.

The service will take into account a household's circumstances when considering a switch to another utility provider.

G-HEAT and Citrus Energy will take care of the switching process for the resident and will call back six weeks later to check there have been no problems with the transfer.

A report to councillors says in the past, G-HEAT has secured significant financial savings for individual households.

There are also plans to amend an energy efficiency loan scheme set up by the council a year ago.

It was established to help owner occupiers fund energy efficiency improvements to their homes.

The scheme focuses on providing new boilers and connecting homes to the main gas network.

Until now, owners have been able to access grants of up to £200 and loans of up to £2500 on an interest-free basis for up to three years.

The value of the loan fund is around £300,000 but recently there has been high demand, reducing the funding available to provide new loans.

As a result, council bosses are suggesting the maximum loan should be reduced from £2500 to £1500 except for homes which want to connect to the gas network.

And they are suggesting the fund should no longer provide grants of up to £200 as work of that value is generally provided free of charge by other organisations.

Liz Cameron, the council's executive member of jobs and the economy, said: "In an era of high energy prices, it is important the council provides support and advice for households of different types across Glasgow.

"I am confident the expanded energy efficiency loan scheme and the new energy switching service will prove to be invaluable for many people in the city."

vivienne.nicoll @eveningtimes.co.uk