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Monday, February 9, 2015

Get free help to handle debt, says AM

To mark the recent Debt Awareness Week, North Wales Assembly Member Mark Isherwood, who chairs the Cross Party Group on Fuel Poverty, called on his constituents to ensure they are taking advantage of free help and support available for anyone struggling with winter energy bills.
 
He said: “Nobody should suffer in silence and there's a range of help and advice for any constituents who are having problems paying their energy or other household bills.”
 
For example, British Gas spent more than £380 million in 2013 helping 1.8m vulnerable households with discounts, free insulation and benefits advice.
 
The company has a successful partnership with StepChange Debt Charity – organisers of Debt Awareness Week - which helps customers by offering manageable payment plans for their energy and other household debts.
 
It also funds The British Gas Energy Trust - an independent charitable trust set up 10 years ago. British Gas has provided the Trust with £75million to help people living in fuel poverty.  The Trust provides grants to help with energy arrears as well as a wide range of advice and is open to everyone, not just British Gas customers.
 
Other support provided by British Gas includes flexible payment plans, referral to the Warm Home Discount scheme which gives eligible customers a £140 discount on their electricity bill, and identifying if customers are eligible for free insulation or boiler replacements.
 
To register for extra help, customers or someone acting on their behalf should call 0800 072 8625 (or 0800 294 8604 if they have a Pay As You Go meter).
 
Mr Isherwood added: “I want all my constituents to understand what help is available for them. Keeping on top of winter bills and managing debt is so important and I'd urge anyone in North Wales, to get in touch with their energy supplier to find out what support is on offer."
 

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