Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) and Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) have launched an energy advisor scheme to help reduce fuel poverty in the north of Scotland.
The first-of-its-kind partnership, funded by SSEN, will involve four specialist energy advisors working in local Scottish Citizens Advice Bureau (CABs).
The teams will be based in Shetland, Western Isles, central Sutherland and south-west Aberdeenshire.
Support will include energy efficiency advice, referrals to the Warm Home Discount Scheme, supplier switching advice, referrals to Home Energy Scotland for loans, grants and incentives, resolving billing issues, benefits checks and referring eligible customers to SSEN’s Priority Services Register.
The partnership will last for a year.
Colin Nicol, managing director of SSEN, said: “I’m delighted to be able to launch this partnership and look forward to working closely with Citizens Advice Scotland to ensure the most vulnerable receive effective and impartial energy advice.
“Although providing advice may seem like a small step, the benefits that can be unlocked for the most vulnerable are significant. I’ve every confidence that by working in partnership with CAS, we can help those in fuel poverty access the critical support and assistance they require.”
Derek Mitchell, chief executive of Citizens Advice Scotland, said: “We see on the front line the anxiety and stress that is caused when people struggle to pay bills and keep their homes warm. We also know that fuel poverty is a particular issue in the north of Scotland.
“We are very happy to be working with SSEN to help support CABs to deliver holistic frontline advice to help those who are in fuel poverty. We know how valuable bespoke advice is to people and by working with partners this programme will help to deliver real positive outcomes.”