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Publications

  1. Alastair Wilcox
    Publication date:
    September 2020

    In 2019, Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) commissioned research to ascertain consumers’ views on and experiences of the gas and electricity distribution networks in Scotland, and their priorities for future distribution network investment. We also explored the attitudes of consumers in Scotland towards some of the potential changes in electricity use that may be required as the energy system evolves to support Scottish and UK Government climate change targets, and consumers' understanding and opinions of some of the technologies that are envisaged to aid the energy transition. In addition, we explored consumers’ views on a potential increase in the electrification of heat in Scotland, and their enthusiasm for and opinions of future opportunities to provide flexibility to their electricity distribution network operator.

    This report summarises the results of our research and considers how Scotland’s gas and electricity distribution networks might be able to help redefine consumers’ relationship with the energy system in support of Scottish and UK Government climate change policies. It is published alongside a summary of its key findings and the final report compiled by our research partner, Accent.

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  2. Debbie Horne
    Publication date:
    September 2020

    Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) welcome the opportunity to contribute to the Spending Review process and provide our insight and data. Protecting and maximising household incomes and averting mass unemployment are the essential foundations on which the Spending Review in this time of COVID-19 must be built. The Government can do this by committing to the following actions;

    • Implementing targeted job protection initiatives to avert unemployment,
    • Strengthening the Universal Credit safety net by ensuring level of payments are maintained at least at current levels,
    • Making Universal Credit work for those in work.

  3. Kyle Scott
    Publication date:
    September 2020

    In early 2020, Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) commissioned Ipsos MORI to undertake exploratory research on the impact of Brexit on individuals, businesses and communities across Scotland. The findings of this research will assist CAS in understanding the future potential advice and support needs of Scottish communities

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  4. Ruth Mendel
    Publication date:
    September 2020

    Citizens Advice Scotland has responded to the consultation on proposed guidance for firms on the fair treatment of vulnerable consumers. We are pleased to see the continued commitment by the FCA to protecting vulnerable consumers.

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  5. Response to Scottish Parliament Social Security Committee inquiry
    Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    September 2020

    Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) welcomes the opportunity to comment on the draft regulations. CAS warmly welcomes the introduction of the Scottish Child Payment (SCP), which is an excellent example of imaginative use of Scotland’s devolved social security powers to provide much-needed support to Scotland’s citizens. Scotland’s CAB network regularly advises clients who have required crisis support from the Scottish Welfare Fund or food banks due to their social security entitlements not being adequate to pay for essential costs. The Scottish Child Payment promises to be an effective tool for reducing child poverty in Scotland.

  6. Creating a framework for robust consumer protection in the energy efficiency and renewable retrofit sector
    Publication date:
    September 2020
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  7. Stage 2 consideration briefing
    Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    September 2020

    Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) welcomes the Bill, which provides an opportunity to make minor amendments to address issues which have been identified since the passage of the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018, including making provision for the introduction of the Scottish Child Payment. CAS welcomes the amendments brought at Stage 2, which cover a number of further areas which CAS and others identified in evidence at Stage 1.

  8. Tracey Reilly
    Publication date:
    September 2020

    Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) has responded to the Equalities and Human Rights Committee’s inquiry into the impacts of COVID-19.

  9. Open Government Partnership: Report on work by CAS
    Publication date:
    August 2020

    Earlier this year CAS undertook to research how accountable public services in Scotland are. This report presents the findings of that work. 

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  10. Publication date:
    August 2020

    Impact report on 10 years of the Armed Services Advice Project (ASAP).

  11. Scottish Campaign on Rights to Social Security Report
    Publication date:
    August 2020

    A fundamental review of disability assistance in Scotland must be initiated by the Scottish Government during the next parliament, according to a coalition of organisations campaigning for a long-term improvements to social security for disabled people. 

    Following the devolution of powers over disability and ill-health benefits to the Scottish Government, the Scottish Campaign on Rights to Social Security, has launched its long-term vision for disability assistance in Scotland. 

  12. Michael O'Brien
    Publication date:
    August 2020

    Scotland has redefined fuel poverty and set targets towards its eradication by 2040. The Warm Home Discount scheme exists, by definition, to support fuel poor households and fuel poverty risk groups. This report examines the effectiveness of Warm Home Discount in the context of the new fuel poverty definition in Scotland.

    'Mind the Fuel Poverty Gap' sets the policy context around the key issues, provides insight into research conducted by Changeworks for CAS, and makes a series of recommendations. 

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  13. Publication date:
    July 2020

    The survey was commissioned by CAS and carried out and designed by Mark Diffley Consultancy and Research Ltd.

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  14. Emily Rice
    Publication date:
    July 2020

    Scotland has set some of the most determined climate goals in the world, and home energy efficiency has a large role to play in Scotland’s transition to a low or no carbon society.

    The Scottish Government has set ambitious goals for Scotland’s housing stock, which will be measured by a home’s energy efficiency rating as described in an energy performance certificate (EPC). However, consumer knowledge of EPCs is low, and even though they contain recommendations on how to make a home more energy efficient, they seem to be a poor motivational tool.

    CAS commissioned Changeworks to gather feedback about how EPCs are viewed, understood, and interacted with by consumers, and how they could be improved to be better understood and more motivational.

    Through a combination of ISM workshops and online testing, research found that:

    • Many people view energy efficiency as a luxury for those who can afford it

    • Barriers to home energy efficiency improvements are essentially cost and hassle

    • EPCs are not considered useful, and most homeowners just put them in a drawer

    • People who consider themselves highly environmentally conscious are no more likely to know their home energy efficiency rating or be familiar with an EPC than someone who is disengaged with environmental issues (value-intention gap)

    • People are mainly motivated by cost, but social desirability plays a large role as well. People may be more motivated by the cost of not acting than potential fuel bill savings, especially if this is linked to Scotland’s carbon targets or the climate emergency

    • A 1-2-3 style EPC, designed like a home report, may be easier for consumers to understand and engage with

    • Consumers value simplicity and colour, but for many the preferred style and layout was subjective. Energy efficiency advice accompanying an EPC is crucial to ensure consumers understand the document and are able to make the choices most suitable to their property

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  15. Michael O'Brien and Aoife Deery
    Publication date:
    July 2020

    CAS welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Just Transition Commission call for evidence. Meeting Scotland’s climate change targets will require significant buy-in from citizens to move away from high-carbon forms of heating and water/sewerage service provision. CAS is calling for the least resilient households to be protected in this transition, such as those in vulnerable circumstances, or those excluded by the cost of low-carbon technologies.

  16. Treasury Select Committee inquiry
    Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    June 2020

    Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) welcomed the creation of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS): timely responses which protected incomes and prevented many jobs being lost. There are some gaps in the schemes, together with some misuse or non-use of the CJRS by employers, which have caused detriment to workers.

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  17. Publication date:
    June 2020

    During COVID-19, Citizens Advice Scotland has been gathering information from Citizens Advice bureaux and our online advice website on how the pandemic has affected people across the country.

    In particular, our weekly and monthly data reports track changes in the type of advice people are seeking.

  18. CAS Digital Advice Content Team
    Publication date:
    June 2020

    This fact sheet tells you about divorce in Scotland. It includes guidance for what to think about and the practical steps you need to take. If you need it, you can get more advice from your local CAB.

  19. CAS Digital Advice Content Team
    Publication date:
    June 2020

    This fact sheet tells you about ending a relationship when you've been living together. It includes guidance for what to think about and the practical steps you need to take. If you need it, you can get more advice from your local CAB.

  20. CAS Digital Advice Content Team
    Publication date:
    June 2020

    This fact sheet tells you about ending a civil partnership in Scotland. It includes guidance for what to think about and the practical steps you need to take. If you need it, you can get more advice from your local CAB. 

    You can also download fact sheets about getting divorced in Scotland and ending a relationship when you've been living together.

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