Angus MP Mike Weir has highlighted the availability of free financial help and advice from a charity as part of Debt Awareness Week.
This week (January 25 to 31) is Debt Awareness Week, when organisations across the UK seek to raise awareness of the importance of dealing with debt.
To mark the initiative Mr Weir is highlighting independent charity, The Scottish Gas Energy Trust (SGET), as well as Scottish Gas and StepChange Debt Charity.
SGET provides grants to help pay off gas and electricity debts and to purchase energy efficient white goods such as washing machines and fridge/freezers.
Mr Weir said: “January can be a financially difficult time for many so I’d strongly encourage anyone who is worried about their energy bills to get in touch with the Scottish Gas Energy Trust to get help and advice.
“You don’t have to be a Scottish Gas customer to use this helpline and the help given is completely free.”
Imelda Redmond CBE, Chair of Trustees at the Trust, added: “Keeping on top of winter bills and managing debt is very important, which is why we urge anyone in difficulty to contact us as soon as possible.
“The Trust is committed to helping as many people as possible whether through direct financial assistance, help with the purchase of appliances or through the many voluntary organisations we fund to provide money and energy debt advice.”
The Trust has provided more than £85m of help and assistance to 175,000 people since it was established in 2004.
Contact the Trust on 01733 421060 or via email on firstname.lastname@example.org
Scottish Gas also provides direct help for customers. This includes helping thousands of people, who are having difficulty paying their bills, with an interest free debt repayment plan. The company also helps millions of people with energy saving measures and has 1.5m customers registered on a Priority Services Register, which offers additional help for disabled or chronically ill customers and those of pensionable age.
More than 9,000 people have also been helped by a Scottish Gas/StepChange Debt Charity partnership which sees those in need receive specialist support and advice from trained professionals.
For more information please contact Scottish Gas on Freephone 0800 048 0202.