Citizens Advice Service in Scotland has today published new evidence showing how it has met the steep rise in consumer demand for energy advice over the last few years.
Since 2011, the number of instances in which we have issued energy advice has increased by 130%. In 2014/15 alone we provided advice and support on 28,000 energy issues experienced by consumers throughout Scotland.
Today, on the eve of this years Big Energy Savings Week, we publish two new reports, showing Energy Advice in Detail – one for 2013/14 and one for 2014/15.
CAS Consumer spokeswoman Sarah Beattie-Smith says,
“These reports show the clear growth in the numbers of Scots who are struggling to pay their energy bills. They also show the impact this has had on our workload as a service, and how we have met this increased.
“Our case evidence also highlights the key issues that have affected consumers’ ability to heat their homes over this period. These include; low pay, under-employment, increased living costs and rising debt, in addition to the impact of austerity policies such as below-inflation benefit payments, the bedroom tax, benefit sanctions and long waits for benefit assessments. The changes made to some billing systems have also been a key problem, and Scottish Power in particular has created a number of problems for consumers.
“The levels of fuel poverty in Scotland are higher than ever, and all over the country there are families who yet again this winter will face the devastating choice of whether to heat their home or put food on the table. As these reports show, Scottish CAB advisers deal with cases like this every week. We will continue to offer that expert advice and support to anyone who needs it. You can visit your local CAB or call our consumer helpline 03454 040506."