G.HEAT helps one customer clear her energy debts

Miss Preston was referred to G.HEAT by Home Scotland Housing Association regarding an outstanding balance of £8,057.61 on her gas account.

Glasgow Home Energy Advice Team (G.HEAT) G.HEAT was established in 2010 to provide independent advice on energy related issues to householders on a face to face basis, in their homes, and support Glasgow City Council’s strategic aim of eliminating fuel poverty. Over the last five years G.HEAT has made over 14,000 home visits, and returned nearly  £3.5 million in savings to householders. We have reduced the city’s carbon footprint by over 45,000 lifetime tonnes and over the course of the project we saved every resident who had a home visit around £245.

Miss Preston moved into her home approximately eight years ago and shared the house with her 23 year old son who suffers from cerebral palsy. All the internal doors had been widened for wheelchair access. The G.HEAT advisor discovered that when the doors were widened the thermostat had been disconnected and had never been re-connected. This played a major part in her high gas bills.

G.HEAT contacted Consumer Focus for advice on how to proceed, as it was very unusual to come across a customer with an outstanding balance of £8,057.61 for gas and originally thought there must have been billing problems.

It became apparent that Miss Preston had been under paying for her gas via fuel direct and her gas supplier had sent the DWP a new quote for £3.55 per week to pay off the outstanding balance.
Miss Preston’s gas supplier was threatening to disconnect her. G.HEAT arranged for a gas
pre-payment meter to be installed so she could manage her usage better.

G.HEAT contacted Home Scotland on behalf of Miss Preston to gain information to complete an Scottish Gas Energy trust application. Energy Trusts are charities set up by energy companies to help individuals and families who are struggling to pay their gas and/or electricity costs. G.HEAT asked the benefits office to send Miss Preston a breakdown of her benefits to assist the application process.

After considering the trust application Miss Preston was awarded a grant of £8,057.61 which cleared her gas arrears in full.