Vulnerable Scots have been urged not to miss out on £150 worth of help for their energy bills with the reopening of a UK Government scheme.
The winter Warm Home Discount will resume on Monday, October 16th, and certain pensioners should automatically have a rebate applied to their bills. However, unlike in England and Wales, many low-income families in Scotland still need to apply, with payments made on a first-come, first-served basis.
Advice Direct Scotland, the national energy advice service for Scotland, is encouraging eligible individuals to check with their suppliers to ensure they receive the additional support they need.
The charity has reminded households to apply as soon as possible, as energy companies have a limited pot of cash to distribute, and they should check with them even if they were eligible for a discount last year.
The Warm Home Discount is designed to help those on low incomes and who live in older, colder homes, such as those with poor insulation. Consumers in receipt of the Guarantee Credit portion of Pension Credit should automatically receive a letter informing them about the discount, with the rebate applied to bills between October and March.
Those on a prepay meter usually receive a top-up voucher. Additionally, those on certain benefits may also qualify for support and must apply to their energy supplier.
This group includes those in receipt of Universal Credit, Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance, Jobseeker’s Allowance, or Housing Benefit.
Those with a household income that falls below £17,005 and receive either Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit could also qualify.
Energy suppliers can choose to offer the discount to more customers based on additional criteria, and Advice Direct urges checking with your supplier to see if you might be eligible.
Those who live in a park home and pay a site owner for electricity instead of an energy firm may still be able to get £150 towards their energy bills via the separate Park Homes Warm Home Discount scheme.
Hazel Knowles, energy project team lead for Advice Direct Scotland, said: “With bills still significantly higher than they were before the energy crisis began we know many Scots face a challenging winter ahead. It is therefore more important than ever that households claim all the support they are entitled to.
“We would urge Scots to check their eligibility for the Warm Home Discount and apply to their supplier as soon as possible before funds are exhausted.
“Those who get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit should receive a letter letting them know when to expect their discount. If you need help or are having any difficulty reaching your supplier, our qualified team can assist in getting the right support through the energyadvice.scot service, or you can call 0808 196 8660 for assistance.”