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Spotlight on: Energy

A third of people in Scotland struggle to afford their electricity and gas bills. We’re working hard to give them the advice they need to cut their costs and get a good deal. We’re also pushing politicians and energy companies to ensure the energy system works for people. 

If you have an energy problem you need help with, call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 08454 04 05 06 or email via our self-help website www.citizensadvice.org.uk.

This page has all the latest news about our work on energy.

News

  1. 3 Mar 2020

    Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) has welcomed the publication today of the Heat Networks Bill by the Scottish Government as a step in reducing carbon emissions and creating oversight of the previously-unregulated network of communal heating systems.

  2. 26 Feb 2020

    Fairer prices, clear and accurate billing and better support for people in vulnerable situations are at the heart of Citizen Advice Scotland’s (CAS) priorities for the energy market in Scotland, outlined today.

  3. 26 Feb 2020

    by Dr Jamie Stewart, Strategic Lead for Markets, Citizens Advice Scotland

    This column first appeared in the Herald on 26 February 2020.

Publications

  1. Publication date: February 2020

    Fairer pricing, clear and accurate billing and better support for people in vulnerable situations are at the heart of Citizen Advice Scotland’s (CAS) priorities for the energy market in Scotland which are summarised in this report. 

    With the retail market facing potential changes in the coming years, with OVO energy’s recent takeover of SSE retail energy business, as well as the Scottish Government’s proposal for a Public Energy Company, the charity has published a report on priorities for customers.

    This report draws upon evidence and insights from our frontline advisers in Citizens Advice Bureaux (CABs) across Scotland and the Extra Help Unit (EHU). It highlights cases from our CABs in six thematic areas which are crucial to consumers.

    CAS six key consumer priorities are: 

    • Fair pricing and debt support; so customers aren't shocked by sudden increases in costs and the ability to pay is central to any debt repayment scheme.
    • Ease of contact; so customers aren’t left in the dark or hanging on the phone about their service or bills
    • Clear and accurate billing; to allow customers to understand how charges have been calculated, and to stop people accruing debt through no fault of their own
    • Easy access to the Warm Home Discount; to help more people with the cost of energy
    • Better support for vulnerable consumers; particularly accurate meter reads to prevent bill shocks
    • Offering choice for consumers on restricted electricity meters; to challenge fuel poverty for consumers off the gas grid

    The report also summarises a review undertaken for CAS around consumer engagement in the energy market in Scotland and makes a number of recommendations on how fuel poor households may be supported. This review is available on request. 

  2. Publication date: February 2020

    CAS is publishing its Market Pulse report which has tracked the attitudes of consumers in Scotland over three years on a range of issues, finding 

    • 12 per cent of consumers rating their bills as unaffordable 
    • A fall in consumers using the traditional Big Six suppliers with consumers moving to smaller suppliers, often because of lower prices
    • A decrease in people using electricity to heat their homes and an increase in people using gas, laying out the challenges in the energy market as policy makers move to decarbonise heat and meet climate emissions targets
    • Almost half of consumers could qualify for extra support through the Priority Service Register – but only a quarter of consumers are actually enrolled. 

    The report is available for download below. The data is also available on request. 

  3. CAS

    Publication date: February 2020

  4. Aoife Deery

    Publication date: January 2020

    This is CAS' response to the Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee's call for view on local energy and electric vehicles, as part of their Energy Inquiry. CAS acknowledges the central role that locally-owned energy and electric vehicles have to play in the transition to low carbon, in line with climate change targets but we emphasise the need to protect consumers in the transition from unaffordably high fuel bills, scams and lack of redress, especially those who are vulnerable to these changes.

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