As part of our ongoing work to support households in or at risk of fuel poverty, Changeworks recently secured funding for over 100 clients to help them pay their debts or bills.
The bulk of the money came from the Home Heating Support Fund, a COVID-19 response programme set up to support vulnerable people and those most in need. In total, Changeworks helped win £76,686.10 from this fund for householders across Scotland. This helped them pay off fuel bill debts, and afford their heat and electricity costs. A further £16,223.77 was awarded from the Social Housing Fuel Support Fund in the Borders, with more applications yet to come back!
This is really brilliant news and will go a long way to helping those households. That includes people like Ms X, just one of the people we've been able to help. She had built up over £4,000 in debt and moving into a property with credit meters she wasn't used to. She struggled to deal with her supplier due to mental health issues. An Affordable Warmth Service advisor helped her set up payments, make her home heating more efficient, and secured an initial £962.62 from a hardship fund to help pay off the debt. Thanks to the Home Heating Support Fund, Ms X was able to get another £1,150 – meaning her gas account is now completely debt free.
Fuel poverty was already a huge problem, and COVID-19 has only made it more acute. That's why our Affordable Warmth Service works tirelessly to help people keep their homes warm and manage any fuel billing issues they might have.
Changeworks' Affordable Warmth advisors can support you if fuel debt is a problem. They can give you advice on reducing your costs, help you apply for emergency funds, or even speak to your supplier on your behalf. If you, or someone you work with, could benefit from our support, fill in our simple online referral form and someone will get in touch. Alternatively, our advisors are available for help and advice 9am-5pm Monday to Friday over the phone – call them on 0800 870 8800.
If you have an older home, or issues with things like glazing and draughts, call Home Energy Scotland on 0808 808 2282 to speak to their friendly advisors. They can give you advice on every aspect of energy efficiency and help you make even more changes to cut your costs.