Advice Direct Scotland comment on Chancellor’s lack of a social energy tariff plan in the Budget

Social Energy Tariff - Advice Direct Scotland

Glasgow, Scotland – March 06, 2024:

Jeremy Hunt has missed his chance to lift thousands of people out of fuel poverty in the UK by failing to heed calls for a social energy tariff, Scotland’s national advice service has said.

Advice Direct Scotland (ADS), which has been campaigning for the move, said it was “disappointing” that the Chancellor had failed to bring forward the policy.

ADS chief executive Andrew Bartlett wrote to Mr Hunt before the Budget urging him to bring forward a UK-wide social energy tariff, describing the measure as “life-saving”.

The charity has argued that an opt-out scheme – which would automatically put struggling households on the cheapest energy deal – is the only way to effectively end fuel poverty.

The policy could be targeted at those most in need, with eligibility being determined by whether members of a household are in receipt of benefits or are on low incomes.

A poll published earlier this week showed that there is widespread public support in Scotland for the policy, with two-thirds (66 per cent) of those questioned backing it.

 Social Energy Tariff - Advice Direct Scotland

Andrew Bartlett, chief executive of Advice Direct Scotland, said:

“It is disappointing that the Chancellor has not listened to our calls for a social energy tariff in the wake of a winter which has again seen millions of people struggling to afford to heat their homes.

“The energy crisis is far from over, with households across the UK building up record levels of debt and still facing much higher costs for gas and electricity than a few years ago.

“Among those who would benefit from a social energy tariff are people with illnesses and disabilities who rely on life-saving electrical equipment to stay alive.

“We are convinced that the best way of fixing the country’s broken energy market is an opt-out system which would automatically put vulnerable people on the cheapest deals.

“Today will go down as a missed opportunity to take real action against fuel poverty, but our campaign for a social energy tariff will continue.”


More information about Advice Direct Scotland’s campaign for a social energy tariff, including resources to support the campaign, can be found here: 

News on Advice Direct Scotland’s Social Energy Tariff Campaign can be found here: Advice Direct Scotland launches social energy tariff campaign

News on the recently conducted poll can be found here: New poll: Three-Quarters of Scots limit energy use amidst concerns over high bills – Advice Direct Scotland

A PDF of Survation Scotland Survey conducted on behalf of Advice Direct Scotland can be downloaded here: Survation Survey: 14th to 20th February, 2024.

Andrew Bartlett’s letter to chancellor, indicating the life-saving impact a social energy tariff can make is available here

Advice Direct Scotland is a charity which runs the national advice service Advice is available to everyone in Scotland, at no cost, regardless of personal circumstance.

A photo of Andrew Bartlett is available here. is available at and on freephone 0808 196 8660, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

The website also includes an online knowledge centre for Scots, with information on:

• Billing and meters

• Complaints and disputes

• Grants and assistance

• Scams and fraud

• Loss of energy supply

• Switching suppliers.

Free, impartial and practical advice is available to anyone in Scotland through Advice Direct Scotland’s service.

People can seek help in a number of different ways: freephone 0808 800 9060; and online, web chat and email at

Media Enquiries

Marc Roseblade - Head of Content, Media & Marketing

Marc Roseblade

Head of Content, Media and Marketing , Advice Direct Scotland
m: 07542 027083
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