Scots have been urged to take the practical support they need now after warnings that energy bills could soar above £4,000 in April.
The UK Government’s new chancellor Jeremy Hunt pulled back on energy price cap promises amid reversals of almost all tax cuts originally announced in the government’s mini-budget, reversing plans to keep support in place for two years.
New forecasts, from independent energy researchers Cornwall Insight, revealed that a bill for typical use, on the basis of a use-more pay-more model, could rise from approximately £2,500 per year to £4,350 for April to June.
Advice Direct Scotland has urged Scots not to wait until then to get the practical and free support which is available to them now.
Support includes checking all benefits are being claimed through the charity’s benefits calculator, contacting the energy advice service for issues with bills and eligibility for grants, or speaking to FCA-regulated advisers on debt solutions at their money advice site.
Colin Mathieson, spokesperson for Advice Direct Scotland, said: “The chancellor’s announcement means that there is uncertainty about the level of government support with energy bills after April, and there are fresh forecasts of astronomical costs.
“We would urge people across Scotland who are struggling with their bills not to wait until the spring to access the free support available to them.
“Right now, we have qualified advisers ready to provide free, practical support to anyone in Scotland through the energyadvice.scot service – and we can also help any customers having difficulties reaching their supplier.
“Anyone with debt worries should speak to our advisers at moneyadvice.scot for possible solutions, and it’s vital that everyone checks they are receiving their full entitlement to benefits by using our calculator at www.advice.scot.”
In analysis of the chancellor’s announcements on Monday, Cornwall Insight CEO Gareth Miller wrote: “Now constructive attention needs to turn to what a replacement scheme looks like from April to ensure that those who need support receive it, and that whatever options are taken forward can form the foundation stones of an enduring, fair and sustainable market after the current crisis subsides.”