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Publications

  1. nina.ballantyne
    Publication date:
    June 2017

    Up and down the country, decisions are taken every year that affect us as consumers of energy, post and water. These can be anything from new laws, to choices made by private companies. A wide variety of interests and priorities are considered by these decision makers, who range from businesses and political parties to government officials and regulators. 

  2. Jamie Stewart
    Publication date:
    June 2017

    Our Energy Advice in Detail report analyses the energy issues upon which Citizens Advice Service clients in Scotland sought help in 2015-16, and places these issues within the wider policy context. Issues were raised through the following three services:

    • 23,237 new energy issues brought by clients through the 61 Citizens Advice Bureaux across Scotland, an increase of 5% from 2014-15.
    • 4,210 calls from Scotland to the Citizens Advice Consumer Service-a decrease of 12% from 2014-15.
    • 1,163 vulnerable consumers in Scotland supported by the Extra Help Unit, almost identical to the number in 2014-15.
  3. Research on face-to-face actions to help consumers in fuel poverty in Scotland
    Jamie Stewart
    Publication date:
    June 2017

    Facing Fuel Poverty explores what projects and services delivering face-to-face fuel poverty advice exist in Scotland and examines the benefits and costs of delivering such services.

    Based on research carried out by Changeworks on behalf of the CFU, we note that tailored fuel poverty advice, delivered in the home, is reported as a necessary service for certain consumers, but that improved monitoring and evaluation of projects is needed. 

  4. Jamie Stewart
    Publication date:
    June 2017

    “We welcome the production of an energy strategy which draws together all aspects of energy production and consumption, and presents a whole system view. 

    We also welcome the ambition of the strategy to deliver targets such as an all energy target for the equivalent of 50% of Scotland’s heat, transport and electricity to be supplied from renewable sources by 2030. However given the significant role that consumers are likely to play in achieving these targets, the impacts upon consumers must be central to proposals and policies set out in the final energy strategy.

    Consumers will be especially important in the delivery of low carbon heating in Scotland’s domestic buildings. Given the uptake of renewable heating systems in Scotland has been relatively low to date, the affordability and understanding of consumer behaviour in new policies must be carefully considered moving forward.

    Currently those who live off the gas grid and often rely on expensive electric heating suffer from the highest rates of fuel poverty. The transition to low carbon heating systems and a low carbon energy system more widely, must ensure that these households are supported as a priority.

    As highlighted as a key theme in the strategy, the energy transition must be stable and managed and consider the needs of all consumers in Scotland.”  

  5. Publication date:
    May 2017

    The Consumer Futures Unit is publishing a series of briefing sheets that draw together evidence and recommendations on issues relevant to energy, post and water consumers in Scotland. This briefing gives an overview of consumer issues in relation to district heating in Scotland. 

  6. Craig Salter
    Publication date:
    May 2017

    Different Rules for Different Fuels examines consumer and supplier experience of district heating in Scotland in relation to consumer protection, and what consumer protection measures could be implemented in Scotland. The CFU is calling for greater protection for consumers in Scotland who use district heating schemes, based on research carried out by Changeworks and the Centre for Sustainable Energy on behalf of the CFU. 

  7. Consultation Response from Consumer Futures Unit
    Publication date:
    April 2017

    The Scottish Government's consultation on introducing local heat and energy efficiency strategies and the regulation of district heating presents an opportunity to further embed consumer principles in energy markets, and tackle fuel poverty. In this substantial response, the Consumer Futures Unit has presented unique evidence to inform the development of these strategies, and the content of regulation, to ensure the interests of consumers are at their heart. 

  8. Publication date:
    March 2017
  9. Publication date:
    March 2017

    The Consumer Futures Unit is publishing a series of briefing sheets that draw together evidence and recommendations on issues relevant to energy, post and water consumers in Scotland. This briefing gives an overview of consumer issues in relation to fuel poverty in Scotland. 

  10. Publication date:
    March 2017

    The Consumer Futures Unit is publishing a series of briefing sheets that draw together evidence and recommendations on issues relevant to energy, post and water consumers in Scotland.  This briefing gives an overview of recent energy price rises by major suppliers in Great Britain. 

  11. Consumer Futures Unit
    Publication date:
    February 2017

    The Consumer Futures Unit (CFU) has responded to the Scottish Parliament’s joint call for evidence as part of its scrutiny of the Scottish Government’s third draft Climate Change Plan.

    The CFU is pleased to have had the opportunity to comment on Scottish Ministers’ plans for meeting Scotland’s annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets. In responding to the Scottish Parliament’s joint call for evidence we have limited our comments to areas of the draft plan that are directly relevant to our remit.

    In this publication we present our written evidence to the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee. Our evidence to the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee and the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee is available separately and can be downloaded below. 

  12. Consumer Futures Unit
    Publication date:
    February 2017

    The Consumer Futures Unit (CFU) has responded to the Scottish Parliament’s joint call for evidence as part of its scrutiny of the Scottish Government’s third draft Climate Change Plan.

    The CFU is pleased to have had the opportunity to comment on Scottish Ministers’ plans for meeting Scotland’s annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets. In responding to the Scottish Parliament’s joint call for evidence we have limited our comments to areas of the draft plan that are directly relevant to our remit.

    In this publication we present our written evidence to the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee. Our evidence to the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee and the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee is available separately and can be downloaded below. 

  13. Publication date:
    February 2017

    The Consumer Futures Unit is publishing a series of briefing sheets that draw together evidence and recommendations on issues relevant to energy, post and water consumers in Scotland. This briefing gives an overview of consumer issues in relation to rural fuel poverty, and was first used at the CFU's Rural Futures Conference in 2017. 

  14. The poverty premium in energy, telecommunications and finance in Scotland
    Patrick Hogan
    Publication date:
    August 2016

    As Scotland’s consumer champion, Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) is driven to identify and mitigate consumer vulnerability through evidence-based advocacy and education. While anyone can be a vulnerable consumer, those on a low income can find themselves particularly susceptible to financial detriment.

  15. A review of energy efficiency and fuel poverty schemes in Scotland
    Publication date:
    June 2016

    The Scottish Government have announced that they will introduce Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme (SEEP) in the coming years. This scheme will make use of the new powers over energy efficiency funds. Given the current political interest and potential levels of investment, CAS believes that it is important to ensure that the impacts resulting from undertaking large-scale energy efficiency installations are fully understood.

  16. Delivering energy efficiency to rural, off-gas Scotland
    Publication date:
    June 2016

    Mains gas is the cheapest way to heat a home but 23% of Scottish households rely on more expensive fuel types, such as bottled gas or electricity, to heat their property. Many off-gas households are located in rural areas and are vulnerable to fuel poverty owing to a number of additional factors, such as a greater prevalence of colder properties which are harder to treat with energy efficiency measures. 

  17. Taking stock of the smart meter rollout programme in Scotland
    Publication date:
    June 2016

    The roll out of smart meters to UK gas and electricity consumers is to be completed by 2020, updating the country’s energy infrastructure and offering a number of benefits to consumers. However there is a risk that where people live, the type of home they live in and how they pay for their energy may affect when they receive a smart meter, and what kind they will be offered.

  18. Energy policy team
    Publication date:
    April 2016

    The Consumer Futures Unit of Citizens Advice Scotland and Citizens Advice (England and Wales) have responsibilities to represent energy consumers in Great Britain in accordance with the 2007 Consumers, Estate Agents and Redress Act.

    This paper is their joint response to the provisional decision on remedies in the Competition and Market Authority (CMA)’s energy market investigation.

  19. The Citizens Advice and Citizens Advice Scotland work plan for 2016/17
    Publication date:
    March 2016

    Following our earlier consultation, we are pleased to launch our Citizens Advice and Citizens Advice Scotland work plan for 2016/17, covering our work in energy, post and water.

  20. Fraser Stewart
    Publication date:
    November 2015

    Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) is seeking tenders from potential research suppliers to undertake a review of energy efficiency and fuel poverty programmes in Scotland.

    Spotlight:

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