You will no doubt have heard lots in the news about the cost of living crisis and the rising fuel bills which are likely to impact us all. We want you to know that there is help and support available.
Hanover’s Energy Advice Support Service
We’re excited to let you know about a brand-new service, the Housing Association Energy Advice Support Service. We’ve partnered with Changeworks, Scotland’s leading environmental charity and experts in providing energy advice and support, to deliver this service.
The service is free and gives our tenants access to energy information, advice and advocacy.
The Housing Association Energy Support Service online advice library can be accessed here. Alternatively, you can call Changeworks for a paper copy of the guides.
You can also refer yourself to Changeworks for a call back from an advisor here.
You can contact Changeworks on freephone 0800 870 8800 between 9am-5pm, Monday – Friday to request printed materials, or if you feel you need some additional support.
Keep your property in good repair
Ensuring that your property is wind and watertight is the first step to ensure that your property is managing energy efficiently. Please contact 0800 111 4646 to report any defects to your property, such as drafty windows, as a priority to help keep your energy costs down.
Energy advice and advocacy – where to turn
Home Energy Scotland
Almost everyone can get some form of help from Home Energy Scotland. This is a free service funded by the Scottish Government. They can provide:
- Free, impartial advice about energy-saving options for your home.
- Support to reduce your energy bills while staying warm, including switching energy tariffs.
- A home energy check – you can do this over the phone, online or an advisor can visit you at home.
- Guidance on financial support, including: benefits checks; incentives; discounted energy rates; and help with any outstanding fuel debt you may have.
- Advice and referrals for grants, or loans to help fund energy efficiency improvements.
- Referrals to the Warm Home Discount scheme – this could get you a discount on your electricity bill.
To find out how Home Energy Scotland can help you, freephone 0808 808 2282 or email email@example.com. Alternatively, visit Home Energy Scotland or follow @HomeEnergyScotland on Facebook.
Citizens Advice Scotland
Citizens Advice Scotland also has a wealth of information on your energy supply. Freephone 0800 028 1456 to learn more.
They provide free, practical advice and information on energy-related matters to the citizens of Scotland here or freephone 0808 196 8660.
We can provide advice and information if you:
- Have an energy enquiry relating to your supplier (no matter how complex)
- Wish to understand your energy supplier’s complaints process
- Are experiencing any problems with your energy bills
Help with energy costs
Contact your supplier as soon as you can if you are worried about paying your energy bills or are in debt to your supplier.
Suppliers must work with you to agree on a payment plan you can afford under Ofgem rules. This includes reviewing a plan you have agreed before.
You can ask for:
- a review of your payments and debt repayments
- payment breaks or reductions
- more time to pay
- access to hardship funds
- advice on how to use less energy
- Priority Service registration – a free support service if you are in a vulnerable situation
If you can’t agree on a way to pay, get help from Citizens Advice or Advice Direct Scotland. Someone at their Extra Help Unit could take on your case if you are in a vulnerable situation.
Citizens Advice – Call 0808 223 1133 or use their online webchat. For textphone, dial 18001 followed by the helpline number.
Advice Direct Scotland – Visit the Energy Advice website, call 0808 196 8660 or use their online webchat.
If you’re in debt to your energy supplier, you might be able to get a grant from a charitable trust to help pay your energy debts. Your application is more likely to be successful if you’ve received debt advice.
Winter Fuel Payments
A Winter Fuel Payment is an annual tax-free lump sum to help with heating costs. It is usually paid automatically to most people who are 66 or over. If you need to make a claim contact the Winter Fuel Payment helpline on 0800 731 0160 before 31st March the following spring.
Winter Heating Payment
Winter Heating Payment has replaced the Cold Weather Payment that used to be made to people receiving Pension Credit if it was below freezing for a week. Winter Heating Payment is a one-off annual automatic payment of £50.00 from Social Security Scotland.
Child Winter Heating Payment is a payment of £214.10 made in winter. It is to help with fuel costs for families of disabled children and young people. The payment is made per individual, not per household. This means each eligible child in a household will get the payment. You do not need to apply for Child Winter Heating Payment. In most cases, the payment will be made automatically by Social Security Scotland.