Press Release: Kirsten Welcomes Home Heating Support Fund
Kirsten Oswald, Member of Parliament for East Renfrewshire, has welcomed a home heating support fund launched for Scots struggling with their energy bills.
The £3million Scottish Government scheme is administered by national advice service Advice Direct Scotland. The fund is designed to prevent households falling into fuel poverty and help those ‘rationing’ their energy use.
The Home Heating Support Fund is open until 31 March and applications can be made on behalf of individuals by referral partners such as local authorities and housing associations, as well as charities and organisations which provide energy or debt advice.
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.
Targeted funding from the Home Heating Support Fund will reflect each individual’s circumstances, with extra support available for households, including where a member of the household is aged over 75 or they rely on electric heating.
Payments start at £100, rising to £500 to clear outstanding debt, with the money paid directly to suppliers on behalf of the household.
Free advice on energy and debt issues can be obtained from Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 800 9060 or a visit to www.advice.scot. A trained adviser will assess the household’s eligibility for the Home Heating Support Fund and refer them if appropriate.
“Last year, a poll found that nearly a third of Scots rationed their energy use so that they could afford other goods and services. With recent price rises and further steep increasess expected in spring, there are growing concerns about the impact on households.
“I would encourage any East Renfrewshire residents who are struggling with their energy bills to seek support from local agencies or by contacting Advice Direct Scotland.
“This fund will prove absolutely crucial in ensuring that households who have been hit the hardest can continue to heat their homes and feed their families.
“It is a disgrace that households in energy rich Scotland are facing the choice of whether to heat or eat, which is a clear sign of the UK Government’s mismanagement of the UK energy market.”