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Citizens Advice service helps Highland householders save thousands of pounds through deal with SSEN

By Staff Reporter

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Patricia Sproul of Citizens Advice Scotland (left) with Pamela Harvey of SSEN.
Patricia Sproul of Citizens Advice Scotland (left) with Pamela Harvey of SSEN.

A partnership between an electricity company and an advice network has helped save householders more than £26,000 since it launched in the summer.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) and Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) joined forces in July to help support those who might need extra help paying their bills.

The network operator now says the four energy advisers it funds through CAS have helped people in the north of Scotland save thousands of pounds.

The advisers provide energy efficiency advice, referrals to the Warm Home Discount Scheme and Home Energy Scotland for loans, grants, and incentives; benefit checks; and refer eligible customers to SSEN’s priority services register.

Since July, the advisers have seen more than 300 clients across Shetland, the Western Isles, Aberdeenshire and Sutherland,offering them free, impartial and bespoke energy advice.

Pamela Harvey, SSEN’s customer relationship manager for the Highlands and Islands region, met with Patricia Sproul, energy adviser at East and Central Sutherland Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) to discuss working together to support those most vulnerable in Caithness and Sutherland.

Ms Harvey said: “Our commitment to support our customers goes far beyond operating, maintaining and investing in the local electricity network and we remain dedicated to forging partnerships and relationships to help support those most vulnerable across the Highlands and Islands and beyond.

“The existing partnership between SSEN and CAS allowed me to hear first-hand of the support this valuable service is providing to people across Caithness and Sutherland.

“I would urge anyone who needs support to get in touch with their local bureau, where they will find a wealth of support on how to save money and keep warm this winter.”

Ms Sproul added: “We know that lots of people, both in this area and across Scotland, are struggling with high bills, problems with suppliers and other barriers which stop them saving money on their energy. In the area I cover, most people have no access to mains gas, so this makes heating their homes much more expensive.

“That’s why programmes like this and Big Energy Saving Week which is currently being run by Citizens Advice Scotland in partnership with Home Energy Scotland are so important.

“The Citizens Advice network helps people with their energy-related issues day-in, day-out, and specialist advisers like me are a friendly and welcoming face who can help put things right.

“Our support is always specific to your circumstances so if you’re feeling left out in the cold, contact your local bureau for free, confidential and impartial advice on how you could make significant savings.”

SSEN is also working in partnership with Home Energy Scotland to offer customers free and impartial expert energy efficiency advice to help them save money and keep warm in their homes all year round. For more information, or to self-refer for additional support, visit ssen.co.uk/energyadvice

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