MSP WELCOMES HOME HEATING FUND

Published date : 08 Mar 2021

Jenny Gilruth MSP  welcomes new home heating support fund launched for Scots struggling with their energy bills.

Glenrothes MSP, Jenny Gilruth has welcomed a new home heating support fund which will help Scots struggling with their energy bills during the Covid lockdown.

The £4million Scottish Government scheme, which will be administered by national advice service Advice Direct Scotland, is designed to prevent households falling into fuel poverty.
The Home Heating Support Fund is open until March 31 and applications can only be made on behalf of individuals by ‘referral partners’ through homeheatingadvice.scot.

This includes local authorities and third sector organisations, with payments then made directly to energy suppliers on behalf of their customers. 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.

The £4m Home Heating Support Fund is part of a £100m winter support fund announced in November by the First Minister to help people pay for food, heating, warm clothing and shelter.


In 2019, an estimated 24.6 per cent of all households were in fuel poverty - around 613,000 households – and the pandemic has increased financial hardship for many. Jenny Gilruth MSP has encouraged any local residents struggling with their energy bills to seek support from the fund through the energy and/or debt organisation currently providing them with advice, or by contacting Advice Direct Scotland for free on 0808 800 9060 or visit www.advice.scot.

Their expert debt advisers will assess eligibility and apply for funding on the individual’s behalf if appropriate.

 

Commenting on the launch of the new fund, Jenny Gilruth MSP said:

““The Scottish Government are committed to ending fuel poverty. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused huge financial impact on homes across Scotland and being able to heat your home is still a major concern for many. This new £4million fund will help Advice Direct Scotland to offer direct practical help to people concerned about their energy bills. “

Andrew Bartlett, chief executive of Advice Direct Scotland, added:

“No household should suffer in fuel poverty or have to ration fuel to get by.

The Covid pandemic has increased financial hardship and many Scots have been left struggling as a result of increased energy costs while working from home or home-schooling. We are working hard to administer this new fund from the Scottish Government to ensure that fewer Scots are struggling with their energy bills.

As well as working closely with partner organisations, our own expert debt advisers can also directly help individuals who have financial worries.”

 

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