Help with the Cost of Living
Help with energy bills
Department for Work and Pensions
Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding
The UK Government has launched the Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding which will provide £400 to customers who otherwise would not get help automatically via their energy supplier.
Customers wishing to enquire about this Scheme should call the UK Government’s Assisted Digital Call Centre on Freephone 0808 175 3287, which is open Monday to Friday, 0800 to 1800 hours.
Winter Fuel Payment
A Winter Fuel payment is a one-off, tax-free payment of between £100 and £300 made during the winter to help with heating costs; it is made to households with someone over Pension Credit age. Most payments are made automatically during November and December. If someone applies for the first time, they will receive their payment by Christmas. The amount a household will receive each winter can vary according to their personal circumstances. For example, age or other people living in the house who are also eligible can increase the eligible amount.
Further information: https://www.gov.uk/winter-fuel-payment
The Warm Home Discount Scheme
You could get £150 off your electricity bill for winter 2022 to 2023 under the Warm Home Discount Scheme.
The money is not paid to you - it’s a one-off discount on your electricity bill, between October 2022 and March 2023.
Further information: https://www.gov.uk/the-warm-home-discount-scheme
Social Security Scotland
Child Winter Heating Assistance
Child Winter Heating Assistance is a payment for children and young people up to the age of 18. To get the payment they must meet two criteria on at least one day in the third full week of September (called the "qualifying week"). On that day they must if they're under 19 years old and get one of the following 'qualifying benefits':
- the highest rate of the care component of Child Disability Payment
- the highest rate of the care component of Disability Living Allowance for children
- the enhanced daily living component of Personal Independence Payment
- the enhanced rate of the daily living component of Adult Disability Payment
- be resident in Scotland
If there is more than one child or young person in your household who qualifies, they will all get the payment. In 2022, the payment will be £214.10 per eligible child.
Further information: https://www.mygov.scot/child-winter-heating-assistance
Low Income Winter Heating Assistance
A guaranteed annual winter heating benefit of £50 will be paid for the first time in February 2023 to low income households and replaces the UK Government’s Cold Weather Payments.
An individual may be eligible to receive Low Income Winter Heating Assistance if they are in receipt of any of Pension Credit, Income Support, income-based Jobseekers Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit and Support for Mortgage Interest. As with the current Cold Weather Payments, additional qualifying criteria for some of these benefits may also need to be satisfied, for example in relation to disability premiums paid to the client or if a disabled child is in their household.
Energy Supplier grants
Major energy suppliers provide grants to households experiencing financial difficulties. For example, EDF, E.on Next and Scottish Power are among those offering support to their own customers, while British Gas's hardship scheme is available to customers of other suppliers too.
Most of the help offered is in the form of a non-repayable grant that goes towards reducing energy debts. This could be vital for struggling households, there are not standardised schemes offered across the sector, so whether your supplier offers support, who qualifies, and how much you'll get varies.
Further information: Contact your supplier to check if you are eligible.
Energy Efficient Scotland: Area Based Scheme
The Scottish Government has awarded funding to help us deliver energy efficiency programmes in the Highlands as part of the Energy Efficient Scotland: Area Based Scheme (EES:ABS).
The area based programmes aim to:
- Target fuel-poor areas
- Offer insulation measures (Cavity Wall and Loft Insulation)
- Heat your property through an Air Source Heat Pump
- Offer solar PV and battery storage
Funding is available from the Scottish Government for the installation of measures.
- Scottish Government Energy Efficient Scotland: Area Based Scheme (EES:ABS) grant – is based on property eligibility criteria
Air Source Heat Pump, Cavity Wall, Loft Insulation, Solar PV and Battery Storage
These measures are eligible for:
- Scottish Government EES:ABS grant
An owner's contribution may be required to cover the remainder of the cost for installation.
Keeping you safe is important and we appreciate your continued patience. Regular communication will be issued to those who are in the process of receiving energy efficiency measures delivered under the scheme.
Please note there may be a delay dealing with your enquiry. If you have a question relating to the EES:ABS programme, please contact EES-ABS@highland.gov.uk.