Scottish Gas is hiring an additional 350 people at its call centre in Edinburgh to assist customers struggling with their energy bills through the coming winter.

The company, a subsidiary of energy giant Centrica, said the roles will all be in post by the end of this year with continuing hiring taking place in January as part of a campaign to move all of its call centre operations to the UK. In total, Centrica said it is hiring more than 700 people across its customers service centres in Edinburgh, Leeds, Cardiff, Stockport and Leicester.

Like others across the industry, Scottish Gas experienced a spike in call volumes during last winter's energy crisis that has led to a boom in profits for the major domestic suppliers.

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Centrica, which also owns British Gas and supplies more than 10 million residential and business customers, posted its highest-ever first-half profits of £969 million in the first six months of this year. That came on top of record annual profits of £3.3 billion for 2022.

“Although energy prices have come down slightly, many of our customers are still struggling overall with the cost of living and need to speak to us for longer about their energy bills," Centrica chief executive Chris O'Shea said.  

“Strengthening our call centre operations in Edinburgh will allow us to help more households across Scotland and the rest of the UK with expert advice and support during this time. I’m extremely proud of how our expert teams support our customers every day – in the past year they’ve helped over one million customers who’ve been struggling to afford their bills with additional support such as grants, debt relief and payment plans.” 

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The new recruits will take the total number of Scottish Gas staff in Edinburgh to more than 480.

The company said additional training on assisting customers in the UK with financial difficulty will also be rolled out across the team as the winter heating season begins. The increase in staff numbers will lead to longer opening times for Scottish Gas customers of 8am to 6pm on weekdays and 9am to 2pm on Saturday. 

Scottish Gas has a £100m support package in place to help customers struggling with energy costs, which it says is the largest voluntary support package offered by any UK supplier.