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Publications

  1. Rebecca Millar
    Publication date:
    October 2018

    Services that are essential for life, such as water and sewerage, should be affordable for all consumers.  CAS' latest research report takes a closer look at characteristics that may indicate whether or not a household will struggle to pay for water and sewerage charges. It also provides an analysis of various proxies that could be used to determine affordability, and at how additional financial support could be targeted towards households that need it most.

    The report found that:

    • Income is the most accurate indicator of whether or not a household is likely to find water and sewerage charges affordable.
    • 12% of households in Scotland spend more than 3% of their weekly income on their water and sewerage charges although not all receive additional financial support through available affordability mechanisms.
    • The current proxy used to provide financial relief, based on households being in receipt of Council Tax Reduction, is the most effective one that exists however, difficulties around more closely linking systems and data sets means that some households in need of additional support do not receive it. 
    • In the longer term, further research is necessary to identify how support could be more effectively targeted to all households that may struggle to pay.
  2. The potential for heating oil buying clubs in Highland Scotland
    Marcus Wilson
    Publication date:
    October 2018
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  3. Rebecca Millar
    Publication date:
    October 2018

    Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) has provided feedback on the Scottish Government’s ‘Investing in and paying for your water services from 2021’ consultation.

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  4. Ruth Mendel
    Publication date:
    September 2018

    Citizen Advice Scotland responded to the Scottish Government Rural Economy and Connectivity's call for evidence - Transport (Scotland) Bill

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  5. Marcus Wilson
    Publication date:
    September 2018

    Citizens Advice Scotland responded to the Scottish Parliament's Economy, Energy and Fair Work committee's call for views on the Scottish Government's proposed Publicly Owned Energy Company.

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  6. Digital access for consumers only using smartphones to access the internet
    Adam Milne & Keith Dryburgh
    Publication date:
    August 2018

     

    Some people can only access the internet through their smartphone. When CAS surveyed clients, we found that this was the case for more than 1 in 10 respondents - 20% of all respondents who said they used the internet at all.

     This report looks in more detail at these consumers, analysing their characteristics and assessing their digital access and skills.

  7. Issues brought to the Citizens Advice Network in Scotland 2016-17
    Publication date:
    August 2018

    The Energy Advice in Detail report provides an annual assessment of the energy issues clients of the Citizens Advice network in Scotland sought assistance with, and places those within a wider policy context.

  8. David Moyes & Kate Morrison
    Publication date:
    August 2018

    Mains gas is both the cheapest means to heat homes and the most common heating fuel in Scotland, England and Wales. However many people, particularly in certain areas and demographics, do not have access to, or do not make use of, mains gas for heating their home.

  9. Consumers and Scottish climate change policy
    Dr Jamie Stewart
    Publication date:
    August 2018

    The report is based on research carried out by Changeworks and Hilliam Research on behalf of CAS. CAS commissioned the research understand the implications for consumers of energy and climate change policy in Scotland, and provides analysis of the Scottish Government’s new Climate Change Plan and Energy Strategy. In particular, we sought to understand the type of behaviour changes that could be expected of consumers as a result of these policies, and the steps being taken by the Scottish Government and others to facilitate these changes. 

  10. Energy networks in Scotland and their changing role with consumers
    Jamie Stewart
    Publication date:
    August 2018

    Today Citizens Advice Scotland is publishing our latest report ‘Pylons, Pipes and People: Energy networks in Scotland and their changing role with consumers’.

    In late 2017 we commissioned the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) and Changeworks to undertake a research study into the energy distribution network companies operating in Scotland. This study’s particular focus was to explore how these companies currently support consumers and how their role in Scotland can and should change to ensure that consumers, and particularly vulnerable consumers, are most effectively supported as our energy system transforms.

  11. Ruth Mendel
    Publication date:
    August 2018

    Citizens Advice Scotland provided evidence to HM Treasury's pre-paid funeral plans: call for evidence. We focused on the importance of ensuring consumers were both fully informed and protected from harm.

  12. Kristin Hartman
    Publication date:
    July 2018

    Citizens Advice Scotland conducted research into the use of postal services by Scottish SMEs - looking specifically at whether they have access to a meaningful choice of postal products, services and providers. We also wanted to find out if the current postal market is meeting the needs of Scottish SMEs or if any changes are required to improve the products and services available to these consumers.  

  13. Ruth Mendel
    Publication date:
    July 2018

    Citizens Advice Scotland responded to Financial Conduct Authority's Discussion Paper on Rent to Own, answering questions about 'What alternative solutions could there be to address harm from high prices?' and 'What issues should the Financial Conduct Authority should take into account in carrying out further work on a price‑cap'

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  14. Modernising Consumer Markets
    Gail Walker
    Publication date:
    July 2018

    CAS welcomes the Consumer Green Paper and a stronger push by the UK government for greater simplicity, transparency and fairness for those that purchase and use goods and services.

  15. Nina Ballantyne
    Publication date:
    July 2018

    We all use energy, post and water services and Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) is the independent advocate for consumers’ interests in these sectors. We work with governments, regulators and business to put consumers first, designing policy and practice around their needs and aspirations.

  16. Publication date:
    June 2018

    This report contains the findings from research on Consumer Confidence and Understanding, conducted by Ipsos MORI, on behalf of Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS).

    The research comprised a survey of 1,004 consumers in Scotland (aged 16 and over), carried out between 7 and 20 March 2016. The specific issues covered were: experience of consumer problems and complaints; awareness and expectations of consumer organisations; awareness and perceptions of CAS; and experiences of using CAS services.

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  17. Ruth Mendel
    Publication date:
    June 2018

    Citizens Advice Scotland welcomed the opportunity to respond to this consultation concerning competition and transparency in the provision of funerals and crematoria market power. 

  18. Craig Salter
    Publication date:
    June 2018

    Today the Consumer Futures Unit (CFU) at Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) is publishing its insight report 'Speaking up: Understanding Fuel Poverty Support Needs' alongside a briefing sheet.

    The insight report is based on research carried out in 2017 by Ipsos Mori and Bill Sheldrick. The CFU commissioned the research to explore the characteristics of fuel poor households that may be in the greatest need of support, and the types of support that would benefit them most.  The research included secondary analysis of Scottish Household Survey data as well as qualitative interviews with fuel poor households.

  19. Nina Ballantyne
    Publication date:
    June 2018

    Scotland’s independent consumer advocate has pledged to put consumers first in the regulated industries of energy, water and post. The Consumer Futures Unit of Citizens Advice Scotland has outlined its priorities in its work plan for 2018-19.

  20. Publication date:
    June 2018

    An important aspect of access to justice for consumers is to be able to access redress when something goes wrong, and that this redress should be easy to access, free and independent.

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