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How to beat fuel poverty: New national campaign gets underway

Scots are being offered a special service this week to help them save money on their fuel bills.

The CAB service is today launching Big Energy Saving Week – an intensive information campaign that will urge people across the country to take advantage of cost-cutting schemes that could save them hundreds of pounds a year. 

Yesterday the Scottish CAB service revealed that by using these schemes it delivered a total of £243,000 last year to Scots who needed help with their fuel bills. This week’s campaign is based on the same sort of advice.

The advice is free, and can be obtained from any CAB or from or the campaign phoneline 0808 808 2282. In addition, local CABs are holding information events all week in communities across the country – including in Forfar, Arbroath, Stow, Golspie, Irvine, Lanark, Ardrossan, Airdrie, Nairn, Lauder, Galashiels, Wishaw, Kilbirnie and Largs. Full details of all
The Scottish wing of the campaign is being launched today (Monday) at Tesco’s in Nairn Road, Forres from 10.30am-11.00am. (Photographers welcome. Location IV36 2EY. More Details 07774 751655).

Launching the campaign, Citizens Advice Scotland’s Chief Executive Margaret Lynch says,

“Fuel poverty is one of the main issues that people bring to the CAB service. The bills keep rising, but peoples’ income levels struggle to keep up. As a result many households get into debt, and others have to make the choice between eating and heating.

“The good news is that help is available. There are many good schemes around. Some offer financial help, others help you insulate your home so you don’t have to use as much energy. How much you save depends on your circumstances, but it can be hundreds of pounds over the course of a year.

“Many people tell us they would love to use these schemes but they don’t know how to, or they don’t know which ones are the best. This week is all about making that information available to people. There are over 200 CAB events happening all over the UK to promote the campaign. Here in Scotland we will be out in more than 20 communities, taking the message direct to people.

“But you can also get the information by contacting your local CAB or through our national website and phoneline (see above). We urge everyone in Scotland to get this information this week, and to pass it on to people you know – particularly those who you think are financially vulnerable.

“Last year, by giving information like this, the Scottish CAB service delivered nearly a quarter of a million pounds in help for people who needed our advice on fuel bills. So it really does work. The schemes are there, the advice is free, and it’s there for anyone who asks for it. There’s no catch here. The CAB service is on the side of the consumer, and we want to make sure everyone gets every bit of help they are entitled to. So please come and get it. That’s what this week is all about.”

Big Energy Saving Week is supported by the UK government and the fuel companies as well as the CAB service and other charities. It will run from 27-31 January and aims to help consumers take practical steps to make cuts to their bills by checking they are on the best deal, switching tariff or supplier and taking up help to insulate their homes to cut the amount of fuel they use.