Local News

£1.2million Extra Cash to Energy Advice Organisations

The Scottish Government has awarded additional funding to agencies which can support people with energy advice and information.

A total of £1.268 million will be distributed across energy advice services as follows:

  • £220,000 to Advice Direct Scotland to fund new staff in its contact centres for consumers, including vulnerable consumers, in need of help.
  • £50,000 to Advice Direct Scotland to create a user-friendly online digital journey for customers
  • £220,000 to Citizen’s Advice Scotland to enhance capacity in their local advice bureaus enabling them to provide advice on both energy debt and energy efficiency measures.
  • £280,000 to expand the Home Energy Scotland advice Service
  • £198,000 for Home Energy Scotland recruits who will provide training to staff from third sector organisations on energy efficiency, which will see around 200 local community groups and organisations benefit
  • £300,000 to enhance support for businesses through Business Energy Scotland

The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, chaired a Scottish Energy summit on Tuesday 23 August to see what could be done within the limitations of the devolved powers to help people with the huge rises in their household energy bills.

The Energy Price Cap increased by a massive 54% in April. It is predicted to rise by a shocking 80% in October. OfGem sets the price cap. It limits the rates a supplier can charge for their default tariffs. These include the standing charge and price for each kWh of electricity and gas (the units your bill is calculated from). It doesn’t cap your total bill, which will change depending on how much energy you use.

Ofgem’s newly calculated price cap will be announced today, 26th August to take effect from 1st of October to 31st of December 2022.

Standing charges are a daily fixed amount Ofgem pay suppliers for gas and electricity. It varies by region. People in Scotland, and in particular in the Highlands and Islands pay the highest rates for transporting back energy that the region has supplied into the National Grid.

Patrick Harvie is the Scottish Government Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings and Tenants Rights. He said:

“We know that this is an incredibly unsettling time for all households and businesses and it is imperative that those worried about or struggling with heating their homes access the information and support they need to reduce their energy bills.

“A further energy price cap increase announcement will only serve to escalate concerns, making the need for impartial, expert advice and support even more vital.

“The Scottish Government is clear that energy customers simply cannot be expected to carry the burden of further price rises in October, and that the UK Government must now commit to freeze the cap for all households and to support energy companies to deliver that.

“In the meantime, the cost crisis is already hitting energy customers hard and the Scottish Government will continue to do everything within our means to support the people of Scotland through it.

“This funding will ensure that expert advisors across the country stand ready to provide crucial support and guidance to those understandably worried about their energy bills. I would urge everyone who has concerns to access these services and get the support they need.”

Links:

Locally : THAW Orkney

Image credit Martin Laird