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Energy firm and advice service urge north householders to stay warm and save money this winter

By Alan Hendry

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Householders across the north of Scotland are being urged stay warm and save money this winter by making use of an energy advice service which is described as the first of its kind.

A partnership between Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Distribution and Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) sees SSEN-funded energy advisers offering expert tips, and they have put more than £225,000 back into the community since the tie-up began in July 2019.

The advisers give energy efficiency advice as well as 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 experts have seen more than 820 clients across Caithness and Sutherland, Shetland, the Western Isles, Aberdeenshire and rural Stirling, keeping money in their pockets with free and impartial 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 difficulties during the pandemic and a drastic rise in those suffering from fuel poverty.

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 co-ordinator 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.”

With more people working from home than ever, the Citizens Advice network in Scotland is seeking to help people manage their home energy costs and keep warm this winter. For more information, visit www.cas.org.uk/BESM2021

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