Where to turn for financial support during these difficult times
While we can provide you with personalised energy saving advice, Home Energy Scotland doesn’t directly provide financial support of fuel vouchers or crisis funds.
If you’re struggling to pay your bills, help is available. To access this, it’s vital to contact the right source of support for what you need. Read on for more information, including links to some organisations and funding that can help you manage your money, provide financial support and check if you’re eligible for benefits.
Scottish Government’s Cost of Living Crisis website
The Scottish Government has set up this Cost of Living Crisis website that will signpost you to various ways to get help, for everything from energy bills, benefits and debts to support for families and people with disabilities.
Citizen’s Advice Money Map
Citizen’s Advice Scotland have created this useful Money Map website full of resources and information about what support is available to increase income, reduce bills and ease the costs of daily living.
Cost Of Living Payments
A set of cost of living payments were announced for 2023 including a £900 Cost of Living payment for people on means-tested benefits, paid across three payments over the year. There is also a £150 Disability Payment planned for the summer, and a £300 Pensioner Payment due in the winter.
Child Winter Heating Assistance
This is a payment of £235.70, paid once a year to parents and carers of disabled children and young people under 19 who receive a qualifying benefit. If you’re not receiving this payment but think you may be eligible, contact Social Security Scotland on 0800 182 2222 Monday – Friday 8am to 6pm or online by webchat.
Warm Home Discount
This £150 payment towards your energy costs is managed by participating energy suppliers. All schemes are closed for 2023 but some suppliers offer pre-registration, which helps to make sure you get any updates about them opening again. Some people may need to apply for this discount and you can do this through your energy supplier directly.
Winter Heating Payment
If you’re currently eligible for Cold Weather Payment from DWP and your circumstances have not changed, you’ll be eligible for a Winter Heating Payment.
Winter Fuel Payment
If you were born on or before 26 September 1956 you could get between £250 and £600 to help you pay your heating bills. You will get your Winter Fuel Payment automatically.
Section 12 payments
If you are a vulnerable person aged 18 or over, you can get help to cover emergencies and debts. This assistance can come in the form of cash payments or vouchers. Contact your council for more information.
Prepayment meter support
Help is available if you use a prepayment meter. Support depends on your personal circumstances. Contact your energy supplier to get precise information.
Further support from energy suppliers
You can contact your energy supplier if you are worried about paying your bills. Your supplier must consider your own situation and agree on a payment plan based on your ability to pay.
New ECO+ Scheme
A new fund for warm home improvements has been announced with support which will run from April 2023. This will be available to households in Scotland and aims to offer various kinds of insulation to make homes more energy efficient and bring down people’s energy bills by helping them to keep their homes warm.
ECO+ may help if you are struggling to pay your bills and will be open to lower income households, with a focus on homes which are not very energy efficient. You can contact your supplier or local council to find out if they are participating.
Emergency advice and support
Advice Direct Scotland
Advice Direct Scotland provides funding and support. This includes the Home Heating Support Fund which offers households financial relief to help with significant financial hardship, no matter the fuel or payment method. Call them on 0808 800 9060 from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, or apply via the Home Heating Advice website.
They also offer help for anyone who needs to resolve an issue with their energy supplier. Find out more by calling 0808 196 8660 from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, or via the Energy Advice Scotland website.
Emergency Power Cut Helpline
Priority Services Register
The Priority Services Register is a free service which provides extra help to those who need it the most. This could be during power cuts or when there’s an interruption to your electricity, gas or water supply.
Citizens Advice Scotland
Citizens Advice Scotland can help with queries about employment, housing, debt, benefits, and consumer issues like energy bills and many other topics. Call their helpline on 0800 028 1456 from Monday – Thursday, 9am to 3pm and Friday, 9am to 12 noon. You can also visit their website.
Debt and welfare support
Citizens Advice Money Talk Team
Age Scotland provides advice for older people on finances, welfare and benefits rights, health and wellbeing, home and care, travel and lifestyle, and work and learning. Call them on 0845 833 0800 Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm or visit their website.
Disability Information Scotland
Disability Information Scotland is a helpline and website that provides reliable and accessible information for people living with a disability. Call them on 0300 323 9961 Monday – Friday 10am – 4pm or visit their website.
Scottish Welfare Fund
The Scottish Welfare Fund helps families and people who are on low incomes. They can provide information on different grants like a Crisis Grant, Self-Isolation Support Grant or Community Care Grant.
Help with benefits
You can check to see what benefits you could be entitled to by completing an online benefits checker.
Young Scot has a list of what benefits are available to younger people and how to claim them.
If you’re struggling to top up your pre-payment meter, you can contact your local council or foodbank for a fuel voucher.
Home Energy Scotland
We’re on hand to help with advice on making your home warmer and funding options that may be available to you. Call us on 0808 808 2282 between 8am and 8pm, Monday to Friday, and Saturdays 9am to 5pm, or use our contact form to get in touch via email.
- Energy saving tips: You might be surprised by how much money you can save by making simple changes to cut your energy use at home.
- Funding finder: You can use our handy online tool to search for funding and support – give it a try and see what help you can get.