Citizens Advice urges people to seek government help as fears rise about energy bills
Citizens Advice Scotland has launched a campaign to encourage the 1.7 million Scots who are currently feeling anxious about being able to pay energy bills to seek advice on the government support available.
Polling carried out by YouGov found that 38 per cent of adults in Scotland feel anxious or worried about paying bills while the same proportion is concerned about being able to heat their home.
A far larger proportion – 62 per cent, the equivalent of 2.8 million people – are anxious about the cost of living overall, with Citizens Advice Scotland launching the Big Energy Saving Winter campaign to draw attention to the help available.
“People are understandably really worried this winter about energy bills and the cost of living. That is why the Citizens Advice network is running Big Energy Saving Winter,” said Citizens Advice Scotland chief executive Derek Mitchell.
“We are here for anyone who feels scared, alone or worried about bills this winter. It is easy to think there is no help out there for you, but CAB advisers get real results – on average over £4,200 for those who saw a financial gain.
“That can be life-changing money for people and this winter it could be life saving money for people.
“The CAB network is for everyone – whether you are working or not, own your home or rent, retired or a student. We don’t judge people’s circumstances, we just want to help.”
Harry Mayers, head of Home Energy Scotland, which is funded by the Scottish Government, noted that financial support was being made available by the Holyrood administration to help people keep their homes warm.
“We know this winter will be a difficult one for Scottish households with the energy and cost of living crisis. The good news is that financial support is available and there are simple actions we can take at home that will add up to help better manage energy use,” he said.
“Home Energy Scotland is the only way to access grants and financial support available from the Scottish Government to make homes warmer and more energy efficient – from interest-free loans to Warmer Homes Scotland funding, which has helped over 29,000 people on lower incomes benefit from energy saving home improvements worth on average £5,000.”
Social justice secretary Shona Robison said the Scottish Government has made £3bn of funding available to households this financial year because it is “very concerned about the hardship people are facing right now, particularly with their energy bills”.