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Get Ready for Winter

winter in lerwick, shetland - time to prepare for warmer homes

Now that we’re well on the way to winter it’s important to think about how you can save energy whilst keeping your home warm. Rising energy prices have resulted in a lot of conflicting information flying around so it’s important to stay informed so you can make the right decisions.

There are a number of things to consider when it comes to preparing for the colder months. Do you know what funding is available? Do you know how to keep control of your energy usage? Answering these questions early will make it much easier for you to keep costs down.

Here are a few things to consider.

What funding is available?

There are a number of different funding options available to help you stay warm this winter. Warmer Homes Scotland, delivered in partnership with Warmworks, is a programme that offers funding to households that are struggling to stay warm. If you’re eligible, you could receive funding to make energy efficiency measures around the home. You can read more about the scheme and check your eligibility here.

Not eligible for Warmer Homes Scotland? There are other options available to help you make home improvements, cut down your energy bills and reduce your carbon emissions. Head to our funding finder to check what’s available in your area.

What changes can I make to my home to prepare for winter?

This really depends on your home. We always recommend you look at how you can improve your building itself before splurging on new technology. Insulation is one of the most important energy-saving measures you can make and will help you stay warm this winter.

If your home already has an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) then this will have information about what you can do to improve energy efficiency. You can find your certificate on the Scottish EPC Register. You might want to get an updated EPC if you’ve already made the recommended improvements as you’ll need this to access much of our funding and loans.

Whilst you wait for an EPC you can get a basic list of suggestions using our Home Energy Check tool. This will detail the best energy saving improvements for your property and give you a rough idea of how much money you could save with each (as well as how much they’ll cost to install).

Are there any small switches I can make this winter?

Yes! The small switches can add up to big savings. Cutting your shower use down to four minutes might not seem like much – but over the course of a year you could save around £95 on your energy bill. Energy Saving Trust have a great list of quick changes you can make to save a grand total of £564 per year.

We also know that it can be harder to implement the bigger changes if you rent your home. Earlier this year we published an article going over what you can do as a tenant – including some smaller switches you can make. Check it out here.

How do I take control of my heating bills this winter?

It’s important to keep on top of how much energy you’re using and how much it’s costing you. If you have a smart meter this can be as simple as checking the display – and comparing the readings against what’s on your energy bill. For more information about how to understand your bill check out this article from Energy Saving Trust.

If you don’t have a smart meter we recommend submitting new readings every month. This prevents your supplier from making predictions – meaning you will only pay for what you actually use. Citizens Advice Scotland have a fantastic guide to reading your meter here.

What support is available?

In response to the energy crisis the UK Government announced a £400 discount on energy bills for all households with a domestic electricity connection. This will be applied to your electricity account directly in six monthly instalments from October to March. If you have not noticed this discount on your bill by the end of October then get in touch with your energy supplier directly.

Aside from the discount mentioned above there are a few other support options. We have another article running through the financial, emergency, debt and welfare support available. You can read it here.

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