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Citizen’s Advice: The Cost of Keeping Warm

Published on: 3 Apr, 2012
Updated on: 4 Apr, 2012

This is the first feature article that describes the work of the Citizen’s Advice Bureau. Some details have been anonymised to protect privacy.

Many this year will be thankful we’ve had a relatively mild winter. However with energy prices having gone up since this time last year, some may be struggling to see the difference in their bills. Indeed you may be feeling the pinch of the rising cost of energy regardless of how warm your house is.

For more than a year now Guildford Citizen’s Advice Bureau have been providing help and advice to those struggling with their energy bills. Clients may visit us with multiple debts and may already be facing debt collection proceedings.

Through working with us we are able to immediately obtain time and breathing space for our clients, relieving any immediate stress. We can then help a client increase their income through benefits, before applying to energy trusts to clear energy arrears and other forms of arrears.

One client we helped was Sam. She had lived with her Father, who died at home after enduring months of illness. In the wake of her Father’s death, Sam had to face huge energy arrears after spending more to keep him warm and comfortable. Sam was also about to become a Mother.

We helped Sam with an application to an energy trust, whilst ensuring that debt collectors stayed away from her. We helped resolve administrative errors with the bills and ensure that she was stress free when she had her baby daughter. Two weeks after the birth Sam received £1200 towards her energy arrears, leaving her debt free in the first year of Motherhood.

In addition to the help we can provide through financial advice, we are also able to refer for a variety of other issues. In partnership with Surrey Warmer Homes we can help clients access grants for additional home improving measures such as insulation or a new boiler.

If you require help with your energy bills or other matters of money. You can contact Guildford CAB on 01483 576699 or email

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