B&Q sets up energy saving call centre for customers
An energy saving call centre, backed by online and in-store advice, is being launched by home products retailer B&Q.
The company will also have exclusive rights to a new energy retail brand, iQE, when it's launched. This is all part of a move to show customers how much money can be saved through reduced energy bills.
B&Q UK & Ireland CEO Martyn Phillips said the company had been carrying out independent trials, working with energy efficiency experts and investing in new energy saving products, services and training.
As a result the service will provide energy use advice, home assessments, exclusive products, payment advice, installation and customer aftercare.
The iQE brand, meanwhile, has been developed by a consortium of manufacturers and academics from Loughborough University, all part of the previously announced investment of around £10mby B&Q's owners, Kingfisher.
The company's energy advice/branding move follows the purchase last year of a terraced house in Southampton. After a £70,000 energy retrofit, the house is now saving £100 a month in energy costs with carbon emissions cut by 69%. The development is scheduled to pay for itself within 10 years.
Key features include blinds similar to those used for the NASA space shuttle to help keep the heat in, super wall insulation to make the house sound proof and a home Hub which monitors and operates the energy of the house.
The new energy advice service is due to begin in October. In-store advice will initially be restricted to 10 locations with further outlets to be added in 2013.