Shetland Islands Citizens Advice Bureau (Sicab) will next week launch “Big Energy Saving Week” to help Shetlanders cut their energy bills.
This year the campaign will attempt to reach two groups of people: those who use electric heating and those who have homes that are hard to heat.
As part of a national campaign the bureau will hold two community events. The first is a drop-in advice clinic at Sandwick’s Carnegie Hall on Tuesday 21st January from 4pm to 7pm, where advisers from Sicab and Home Energy Scotland will offer one-to-one advice on cutting energy use and bills.
Then on Saturday 25th January, a Big Energy Saving community cafe will be held at Sound Hall in Lerwick from 10am to 1pm.
Advisers from Sicab, the council’s carbon management team, Home Energy Scotland and Anchor will be there to offer advice tailored to people’s situation; from grants and loans available for installing insulation and heating systems to switching energy tariff and improving the carbon footprint of your home.
Sicab community engagement officer Isa Kristiansen-Bragg said: “So many of us are seeing energy bills creeping up but we are here to help you navigate the support available in Shetland.
“There will be free soup and teas for all who come along, and for families, Bookbug and the play van will keep the little ones busy while you speak with our advisers.”
Bureau manager Karen Eunson said: “Last year we advised local people on more than 500 issues related to their energy bills and that’s why Big Energy Saving Week is so important.
“Too many people in Shetland are living in fuel poverty and with most of us finding the energy market confusing, we continue to pay over the odds for our energy.
“Many people aren’t sure where to start when it comes to reducing the amount they are spending to heat their homes.
“Our trained advisors can give free, confidential and impartial advice, which could help you reduce your bills and make your home more energy efficient.”
MSP Beatrice Wishart, who added her support for the venture, said it was an excellent opportunity to find out how energy bills could be reduced.
She said: “We know that the cost of living in Shetland is higher than on the Mainland, and that fuel poverty levels here are very high.
“I’m pleased to support Sicab’s community cafe on 25th January where energy advice will be available to all.”