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Smarter energy use to be key priority for 2012 - 25/01/2012

People looking to switch energy provider in order to find a cheap gas deal may find they take extra steps to improve how they use energy this year.

Senior policy advocate for sustainability at Consumer Focus Liz Laine predicted 2012 will see more people turning down thermostats and seeking alternative means of staying warm in a bid to cut their domestic energy bills.

There will also be an increase in efficiency measures, driven by additional schemes to encourage take-up of such measures.

However, Ms Laine warned: "Our biggest concern is that in this rush to attract the 'able-to-pay' to new energy efficiency services, [the] government will leave behind the most vulnerable consumers as they cut public funding for fuel poverty programmes in England."

Recently, climate change minister Greg Barker stated in an article for the Guardian schemes such as the Green Deal will be essential in helping the country meet its low-carbon targets, as the UK cannot afford to waste energy in the current economic climate.

Ms Laine added while gas and electricity prices should fall in the short-term as the result of wholesale costs hitting a 20-month low, the long-term forecast will see expenses increasing.

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