HOME HEATING SUPPORT FUND
I very much welcome new home heating support fund launched for Scots struggling with their energy bills.
This new home heating support fund will help Scots struggling with their energy bills amid a growing cost-of-living crisis.
The £3million Scottish Government scheme, which is administered by national advice service Advice Direct Scotland, is designed to prevent households falling into fuel poverty and help those ‘rationing’ their energy use.
Local authorities and housing associations, as well as charities and organisations which provide energy or debt advice, are encouraged to register online so that they can seek funding for people they support.
Individuals cannot apply directly, but they should contact Advice Direct Scotland for free on 0808 800 9060 or visit www.advice.scot, and trained advisers can assess their eligibility and refer them if appropriate.
Even if they are not eligible, Advice Direct Scotland can offer free advice on energy and debt issues.
Last year, a poll found that nearly a third of Scots had rationed their energy use so they could afford to spend money on other goods and services.
With recent price rises and a further steep increase in bills expected in spring, there are growing concerns about the impact on households.
Targeted funding from the Home Heating Support Fund will reflect each individual’s circumstances, with extra support available for households where one person is over 75, they rely on electric heating, or live in a remote or island community.
Payments start at £100, rising to £500 to clear outstanding debt, with the money paid directly to suppliers on behalf of the household.
Eligibility is based on households which are ‘self-rationing’ their energy, meaning those who are deliberately limiting their energy use so that they can afford to spend money on other goods or services. This could be as a result of home-working or home-schooling due to the pandemic.