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Worried about your energy bills? We can help

Energy bills stress

On Thursday 3 February, Ofgem announced an increase to the energy price cap meaning that many Scottish households will see increases in energy bills from 1 April 2022.

Ofgem introduced the cap in 2019 to protect customers on standard energy tariffs. The energy price cap is the maximum amount that energy suppliers can charge for their electricity. If you’re on a default tariff paying by direct debit, you’ll see an increase of £693 – from £1,277 to £1,971 per year. If you use a prepayment meter, you’ll see an increase of £708 from £1,309 to £2,107 per year.

The increases are driven by a record rise in global gas prices over the last six months, with wholesale prices quadrupling in the last year alone. While you might find this news worrying, we want to assure you that we’re here to help. Read on to find out how we can help you with reducing the energy you use and where to go if you have issues with your energy prices, your energy supplier or debt.

Make simple changes

You might be surprised by how much money you can save by making simple changes to cut your energy use at home. For example, switching your appliances off at the wall instead of leaving them on standby could save you £55 a year and won’t cost you a penny. Or, reducing your time to four minutes in the shower could save you £65 a year.

Energy Saving Trust’s website has plenty of practical quick wins that could save you up to £248 a year on your energy bills.

Give your home an energy upgrade

Picture of insulation work

The cost of heating your home and your water accounts for more than half the typical energy bill, so having an efficient heating system can make a big difference. Likewise, if your home is well insulated, less heat can escape so your heating system shouldn’t have to work as hard. If you don’t already have heating controls, installing and using a full set could save you £70 a year.

Upgrading your heating system, or topping up your insulation, can be an investment but could be worth it in the long run as you’ll save on your bills. Plus, you could get funding from the Scottish Government to help cover costs.

Check our Funding Finder to see what you could be eligible for.

Take control of your heating

Picture of someone with their hands on a radiator

Heating controls help you keep your home comfortably warm, without over-heating and wasting energy. If you have heating controls, it’s good practice to adjust them throughout the year to ensure you have a comfortable home. Visit Energy Saving Trust’s website to learn how to use your heating controls – everything from thermostats to zone controls are covered.

Draughtproofing and managing damp and condensation is another way to keep your home warm – and is important for your own health too.

Understand your energy bill

Energy bills can look complicated but it’s important to learn how to read them to ensure you’re being charged correctly. Watch our video that breaks down how to read an energy bill.

If you don’t take and submit regular meter readings, your energy bill will probably be an estimate of what your energy supplier thinks you use. We recommend taking regular meter readings and sending them to your energy supplier so you can make sure you’re not being overcharged and are staying up to date with your costs. This is particularly important when the price we’re paying for energy is changing so much.

Warmer Homes Scotland

Warmer Homes Scotland is a Scottish Government programme that provides free heating, insulation and more to eligible households that are struggling to say warm and keep up with energy costs. More than 24,000 households in Scotland have benefitted from the programme since its launch, each saving an average of around £300 on their bills over a year. See if you’re eligible and find out how to apply.

Other organisations that can help

We work with a range of other organisations that can help you if you’re struggling with debt, problems with your energy supplier or wider cost of living increases. Take a look at their websites to find out more:

Get advice you can trust

If you’re struggling to keep warm at home and keep up with your energy costs, we’re here to help you. As well as tips on how to save energy and advice on making your home warmer, we can check if you’re eligible for special discounts from energy suppliers and other funding. We can also help you get a benefits and tax credit check so you’re not missing out on additional income.

Give us a call on 0808 808 2282 or use our contact form to get in touch via email.