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Highland residents warned that electricity prices are set to rise again; Advice Direct Scotland calls for those with concerns to get in touch for tips and advice

By Louise Glen

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Advice Direct Scotland
Advice Direct Scotland

There are fresh warnings of looming household energy price rises for Highlanders amid a further peak in gas costs and talks between the industry and the UK government.

Business secretary, MP Kwasi Kwarteng held a meeting earlier this week with energy firms and the regulator Ofgem to discuss soaring prices.

The Northern Times' sister title Inverness Courier campaign End The Chill has gathered almost 1100 signatures demanding the UK government ends higher electricity charges in the Highlands and Islands.

At the beginning of 2021, energy suppliers were paying 54p per therm of gas but that rose to £4.50 just before Christmas – and many firms have colapsed in the past 12 months

Experts believe household bills could at least double in a year, with the energy price cap expected to rise significantly in April.

Andrew Bartlett, chief executive of Advice Direct Scotland, said: “These fresh warnings of looming price rises in 2022 will concern families across Scotland.

“It appears inevitable that steep increases are coming down the line.

“We know that many Scots are already worried about paying their monthly bills, and many have been rationing their energy usage, so this will add to the anxiety.

“Energy bills and energy contracts can be a minefield for consumers, which is why we have made free and practical advice available to anyone in Scotland.

“Right now, the best advice is to remain on your current tariff and don’t panic about the collapse of energy firms because Ofgem will move customers to a new company with no loss of any money owed.

“There is also support available for those in financial difficulty and we will be making further information available to consumers in the months ahead.

“In the meantime, anyone in Scotland can contact energyadvice.scot for free advice.”

Advice Direct Scotland delivers energy advice in Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government though 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.

People can contact energyadvice.scot by freephone 0808 196 8660 with lines open from 9am to 5pm excluding bank holidays, and the service is also available online.

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