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Highlanders offered free energy advice service

By Louise Glen

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Scotland’s national advice hub is now providing Highlanders with free energy advice to help them deal with bills and suppliers.

Following the recent devolution of consumer powers, Advice Direct Scotland has taken on the Scottish Government-supported delivery of energy advice and has launched the energyadvice.scot platform.

Free, practical advice and information on energy-related matters is available to anyone in Scotland, ranging from supplier enquiries, understanding the complaints process, and what to do if experiencing problems with energy bills.

The service also covers accessing grants, what to do if people fall victim to energy scammers, and advice for those who are at risk of disconnection.

People can contact energyadvice.scot by freephone 0808 196 8660, on Facebook, email or through live web chat.

The website also includes an online knowledge centre for Scots, with information on:

  • Billing and meters
  • Complaints and disputes
  • Grants and assistance
  • Scams and fraud
  • Loss of energy supply
  • Switching suppliers

The website also includes advice for microbusinesses, which often have individual and complex business contracts.

The service is supported by the Scottish Government through levy funding – a GB-wide levy placed on gas and electricity suppliers by Ofgem.

Advice Direct Scotland is a registered charity, based in Glasgow, which runs Scotland’s national advice hub, advice.scot, providing free, impartial and practical advice to anyone in Scotland.

It operates consumeradvice.scot, Scotland’s national consumer advice service, which was launched in April 2019 and funded by the Scottish Government following the devolution of consumer powers.

Earlier this year, it worked in partnership with the Scottish Government to deliver the Home Heating Support Fund to alleviate the hardships experienced by many families throughout Scotland.

Other services include brexitadvice.scot on the impact of Brexit and scamwatch.scot - a reporting tool for people in Scotland to report scams.

The organisation engages with more than 700,000 people every year.

Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport, Michael Matheson, said: “We want to make it easier for people to be active and confident energy consumers.

“Our website energyadvice.scot is a fantastic source of free, practical advice and information and I would encourage anyone with questions about their energy contract to check out the resources on the site and make sure their supplier is working for them.”

Andrew Bartlett, chief executive of Advice Direct Scotland, said: “We’re delighted to have launched energyadvice.scot, which will make a dramatic difference for Scots consumers.

“Thanks to this service, free and practical advice is now available to anyone in Scotland through whatever form of communication they prefer - over the phone or digitally.

“We know that energy bills and energy contracts can be a minefield for consumers, especially when something goes wrong with a supplier.

“Many Scots have been struggling to afford their bills due to being at home more, and energy companies are struggling to meet the demand on customer service due to the impact of Covid on their staff and resources.

“We hope to make things easier for consumers, reduce fuel poverty, and help energy suppliers deliver for their customers.”

More information about Advice Direct Scotland is available here: https://advice.scot/

READ: Advice for Highlanders over summer holiday refunds

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