SSEN and Citizens Advice Scotland help people stay warm and save money this winter
Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Distribution and Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) are urging people to take advantage of free energy advice this winter.
A first-of-its kind partnership between SSEN and CAS continues to prove a success in the north of Scotland, with SSEN-funded energy advisers supporting households seeking expert advice since July 2019, putting over £225,000 back into the community.
The advisers provide energy efficiency advice, referrals to the Warm Home Discount Scheme and Home Energy Scotland for loans, grants, incentives and benefit checks. They also refer eligible customers to SSEN’s Priority Services Register, providing additional support to those who need it most.
The expert advisers have seen over 820 clients across Shetland, the Western Isles, Aberdeenshire, Caithness and Sutherland and rural Stirling, keeping vital money in their pockets with free, impartial and bespoke energy advice.
The most recent SSEN-funded post, set up at Stirling Citizens Advice Bureau, is a result of an increase in the number of people facing financial difficulty during the coronavirus pandemic and a drastic rise in those suffering from fuel poverty. Both organisations are working in partnership to identify and support families and elderly people living in fuel poverty within SSEN’s licence area in the Stirling district.
Simon O’Loughlin, Stakeholder Engagement Manager at SSEN, said:
“We are delighted to be working with Citizens Advice Scotland, helping people to stay warm and save money for a second winter. The project coordinator, Christine, and the team of energy advisers are all passionate, knowledgeable, approachable and willing to help.
“Critically, we recognise that anyone experiencing fuel poverty is likely to be experiencing financial difficulties in other respects too. Partnering with Citizens Advice Scotland allows our customers to get a wide range of help and advice to help financially and with wellbeing in many areas of life, not just energy.”
Project coordinator and outreach worker Laura Hutchison, added:
“I am extremely grateful to SSEN and Stirling CAB for having a deep understanding of rural fuel poverty issues and the vulnerabilities that exist in the Stirling district area. This understanding has enabled me to go out in the community and support the most vulnerable people.
“Fuel poverty is a major concern in Scotland, especially as we are now in the coldest part of the year. It is my duty and hope that I can help individuals keep their home warm and assist them with their fuel and financial difficulties.”
For further information and support, or to find your local citizens advice bureau, visit cas.org.uk.
January is Citizens Advice Scotland’s Big Energy Saving Month, and the organisation is inviting people from across the country to save their time, money and energy. With more of us working from home than ever, the Citizens Advice network in Scotland seeks to help people manage their home energy costs and keep warm this winter. For more information, visit www.cas.org.uk/BESM2021.