Hot water and heating for the first time in three years

Mr S is an elderly man living alone in Midlothian on a modest income. Although he worked when he was younger, he has some mild learning difficulties and values the support of his cousin, especially when it comes to life admin and managing his finances.

Joined up support

Mr S had no central heating or hot water and had no means to install a new system. His cousin called Home Energy Scotland, which in the south east of Scotland is delivered by Changeworks, after Mr S had badly scalded himself using kettle water to wash his hair.

He wasn’t eligible for any national schemes, but the Home Energy Scotland advisor referred him to Changeworks’ Affordable Warmth Services for further support.

An initial phone call with a Changeworks advisor revealed that Mr S lived in an all-electric home, and his storage heaters no longer worked. That meant he had had no heating or hot water for the last three years.

“You’ve certainly brought a great change to my life; a thanks hardly seems enough.”

The changes that were needed

What Mr S really wanted was gas central heating, so the advisor helped him apply to the Midlothian Intervention Fund to make this happen. Further funding was secured to pay for the gas connection, and the Affordable Warmth Services team supported Mr S through every step of the process.

That wasn’t the only support we were able to offer – Changeworks’ advisor also applied to the Warm Home Discount for Mr S and had his electricity meter updated to a modern tariff. Our advisor also spoke to the gas supplier, along with his cousin and Mr S, to help set up his new account.

Life-changing improvements

Once the gas central heating was installed, the transformation was dramatic. His cousin believes that the work had changed Mr S’s life, and likely extended it too.

Mr S was able to have his first shower in the house since the 1970s and was no longer reluctant to get out of bed in the morning, since now there was a warm house to wake up to. He’d even started playing chess again.

Mr S said: “It is now a pleasure for me to open my eyes in the morning – not to a cold house but to warmth that is not confined to one corner of one room. You’ve certainly brought a great change to my life; a thanks hardly seems enough.”

Changeworks’ Affordable Warmth Service Advisors can support you in keeping your home warm and easier to heat. Our friendly team can give you advice on reducing your heating and electricity costs, help you apply for emergency funds, or even speak to your gas or electricity supplier on your behalf.

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Changeworks delivers Home Energy Scotland in the south east and Highlands and Islands on behalf of the Scottish Government and Energy Saving Trust.

As well as providing free, impartial expert advice to thousands of people every month to help them to keep warm in their homes for less, they identify funding opportunities for households seeking to install energy efficiency measures.

For more information, give Home Energy Scotland a call on 0808 808 2282 or email and the team will be happy to help you.