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CAS launches Big Energy Saving Month as 1 in 10 miss paying bills since Covid began

Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) is encouraging people to ‘save your energy’ as the charity launches its Big Energy Saving Month 2021 campaign.

The campaign encourages people to get energy advice, and focuses on five key consumer groups:

-        People on electric only heating

-        People on prepayment meters

-        People struggling with energy bills

-        Those who frequently turn off the heating to save money

-        People who can’t access deals and support online.

As part of the campaign, new research by YouGov for Citizens Advice Scotland reveals that 15 per cent of people who have run out of money before payday since Covid restrictions began have missed an energy payment.

The campaign launches amid dropping temperatures across Scotland, as well as concerns of increasing energy costs as more and more people stay at home to comply with Coronavirus restrictions.

Figures released by the Scottish Government last year revealed 1 in 4 households in Scotland, over 600,000, find themselves in fuel poverty.

There is also increasing numbers of homes in extreme fuel poverty. A household is in extreme fuel poverty if it spends more than a fifth of its income on energy costs and it still cannot afford sufficient heating and an acceptable standard of living.

Scottish Government predictions estimate that fuel poverty figures could rise further due to Covid-19, to 29 per cent.

Polly Tolley, Director of Impact at Citizens Advice Scotland said: 

“As temperatures fall and energy bills hit doormats and inboxes across Scotland this January, people might be starting to really feel the pinch of rising bills.

“This is particularly the case in 2021, after we all spent so much time at home due to restrictions during the pandemic. Further restrictions announced last week mean we’re set to stay at home further.

“Worryingly, 15 per cent of people who have run out of money before pay day since lockdown in March missed an energy payment as a result.  

“The Citizens Advice network in Scotland helps thousands of people every year, and we put money back into people’s pockets. We’d encourage people who are facing increasingly difficult energy bills to seek advice from a local CAB, our online advice, or through our online Money Map tool at www.moneymap.scot.”

Harry Mayers, Head of Home Energy Scotland, said:

“January is traditionally a challenging month for householders who may be experiencing financial difficulties. Research from Citizen Advice Scotland and Energy Saving Trust shows that this will be amplified as a result of the pandemic and associated restrictions.

“Through Big Energy Saving Month and our partnership with Citizens Advice Scotland, we want people to know that we are here to provide advice and support on the practical steps they can take to improve the energy efficiency of their homes and reduce the cost of bills.”

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

Further details on the campaign are available here.

About Home Energy Scotland:

Home Energy Scotland advisors can be contacted free of charge on weekdays from 8am-8pm and on Saturdays from 9am to 5pm. Anyone concerned about their energy costs should get in touch on 0808 808 22 They offer free, impartial advice on energy saving, keeping warm at home, renewable energy, greener travel, cutting water waste and more. This service is funded by Scottish Government, and managed by Energy Saving Trust.  For more information visit www.homeenergyscotland.org

Fuel poverty

·         Extreme fuel poverty has increased from 11.3% to 12.4% 

·         The median fuel poverty gap has increased from £610 to £700

·         24.6% of households are in fuel poverty. The Scottish Government has estimated that this could rise as high as 29% as a result of Covid-19

Source:here.

 

 

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