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Gas network company hands over £1m to help Scots with their energy bills

SGN is giving Citizens Advice Scotland £1 million to help consumers with their bills (PA)
SGN is giving Citizens Advice Scotland £1 million to help consumers with their bills (PA)

A £1 million fund will help Scots cut their energy bills and avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

SGN, which maintains Scotland’s gas network, is giving Citizens Advice Scotland (Cas) the cash to help support more than 6,000 households over the next two years.

Derek Mitchell, chief executive at Cas, hailed it as a “terrific boost to our work providing energy-related advice” and said the cash would mean bureaux can hire additional advisers for its Safe and Warm Advice Service.

“The specific aims of this project are to reach vulnerable people, including those who are hard to reach, and that’s a hugely important objective,” he said.

The control panel of a white boiler
Citizens Advice Scotland will also use the money to advise on the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning (Joe Giddens/PA)

“The emphasis on carbon monoxide poisoning is also extremely important, and will hopefully save lives.”

The funding will ensure more people are advised how to use energy safely and efficiently in their homes to help cut their bills, SGN said, as well as helping raising awareness of carbon monoxide poisoning by explaining how people can spot the symptoms and what to do if they are concerned.

Maureen McIntosh, head of customer experience at SGN, said: “We know this partnership is going to make a huge difference to communities across Scotland.

“With the cost-of-living crisis, this support is more vital than ever to keep those households and families most in need safe and warm.”

The energy advisers will be employed in bureaux across central and southern Scotland.

The advisers will provide information and support to people on a one-to-one basis in their local bureaux, and at local bureau outreaches, SGN said, as well as being able to undertake home visits for those who need this.

They will also help people maximise their income, making sure they apply for all benefits and energy grants they are entitled to, as well asraise awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carbon monoxide is known as the silent killer as it is invisible and has no smell. The deadly gas can be produced from appliances including gas cookers and boilers.

The main signs and symptoms are headaches, breathlessness, dizziness, collapsing, nausea and loss of consciousness.