Demand for advice around energy across the Citizens Advice network is up 61 per cent compared to last year, according to Citizens Advice Scotland.
The charity’s latest data report, covering May 2022, showed that the impact of rising energy prices showed no sign of slowing down demand for advice.
This week estimates suggested the energy price cap could increase by a further £1,000 in October, taking annual bills to close to £3,000.
The report also reveals a 21 per cent increase in demand for advice around finance and charitable support – a significant proportion of which will be food bank referrals – compared to May 2021.
Online advice and information regarding work has also grown by 47 per cent since May 2021.
CAS Social Justice Spokesperson Stephanie Millar said:
“Across the Citizens Advice network we are now seeing a pattern of big increases in demand for advice around energy compared to last year. With estimates this week suggesting another huge rise in the price cap in October, it seems unlikely that demand will slow down any time soon.
“The package of support announced in May will offer some respite, but we should be clear that this autumn potentially thousands of people could be forced to choose between heating their home and feeding their family.
“There is also the lasting impact of this crisis to consider – the cost of living crisis could leave a legacy of debt and poverty for millions across the UK.
“What’s really important is that people seek advice to deal with soaring bills. CABs offer free, confidential and impartial advice and can really get results for people. We unlocked £147 million for citizens last year and those who saw a gain were on average £4,400 better off. That money could make a huge difference.
“People can also check www.moneymap.scot which rounds up your online options to cut your costs and boost your income. Either way we’d encourage anyone to see what sort of support is out there for them. We’re for everyone regardless of background and circumstance. We don’t judge, we just help.”