Perth Citizens Advice Bureau has had to recruit two new members of staff to deal with soaring demand for help due to the cost of living crisis.
It comes as the number of people going to them for advice rose by 30% last year, the majority of which were related to increasing energy bills.
The charity offers advice on a range of topics including benefits, workplace problems, faulty goods, family and housing.
It also offers debt advice and maximising income through making sure people are paying the correct taxes and receiving all benefits they are entitled to.
Jane Adams, chief executive of Perth CAB, said she is expecting demand to continue to rise in 2023.
She said: “Millions of adults are cutting back on their household spending.
“A lot are struggling with things like food and clothing too.
“People aren’t managing, or they did before but aren’t now.
“We’re seeing an increase in debts, mostly priority debts like council tax and rent.
“Debt advice rose 25% for us last year and we’re expecting a big surge this year.
“But by helping them, last year we put £5.2 million back into people’s pockets, for example through maximising their income.
“Since pre-cost of living crisis we’ve had a 323% increase in energy complaints and feel like it is only going to get worse next year.”
At the end of last year, to help with the sharp rise in those asking for help, the charity hired two full-time members of staff, solely to deal with energy-related advice.
Jane added: “We’ve been planning and preparing for an increase to make sure we’re ready for it.
“We’ve had three years of increasing demand and it’s not going to stop.
“As more demand comes in we need to support and look after the team too, make sure they’re okay.”
Perth CAB ‘ready to deal with demand’
Despite forecasting another rise in demand, Jane says she and her team are ready to help as many people as possible.
She said: “It’s about ensuring anyone can access free advice and we support people as best we can.
“It’s also to let people know we are here and they shouldn’t be afraid to speak up.
“The service is for everyone. We are here to help you or will find someone who can.
“We’re a confidential service.”