Demand for energy advice rockets by 61% amid soaring cost of bills

It seems unlikely the need for help will slow down any time soon, Citizens Advice Scotland said.

Demand for energy advice rockets by 61% amid soaring cost of bills, says Citizens Advice Scotland iStock
Crisis: The charity saw an increase in food bank referrals from 2021, as well.

Demand for energy advice has gone up by 61% since 2021 amid soaring bills ahead of another price jump this year.

Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) said its network had seen a continuous rise in the number of people seeking guidance as the cost of living continues to increase.

A report showed a 21% increase in demand for advice around finance and charitable support – a significant proportion of which is food bank referrals – as well as a 47% increase in online advice and information regarding work since 2021.

Stephanie Millar, social justice spokeswoman at CAS, warned that the cost-of-living crisis would have a “lasting impact”, and that it was unlikely the need for advice would slow down in the near-future.

Experts have suggested the energy price cap could increase by a further £1,000 in October, taking annual bills to close to £3,000.

Ms Millar said: “Across the Citizens Advice network we are now seeing a pattern of big increases in demand for advice around energy compared to last year.

“With estimates this week suggesting another huge rise in the price cap in October, it seems unlikely that demand will slow down any time soon.

“The package of support announced in May will offer some respite, but we should be clear that this autumn potentially thousands of people could be forced to choose between heating their home and feeding their family.

“There is also the lasting impact of this crisis to consider – the cost of living crisis could leave a legacy of debt and poverty for millions across the UK.

“What’s really important is that people seek advice to deal with soaring bills. CABs offer free, confidential and impartial advice and can really get results for people. We unlocked £147 million for citizens last year and those who saw a gain were on average £4,400 better off. That money could make a huge difference.

“People can also check www.moneymap.scot which rounds up your online options to cut your costs and boost your income. Either way we’d encourage anyone to see what sort of support is out there for them. We’re for everyone regardless of background and circumstance. We don’t judge, we just help.”