There are many people finding themselves in the same boat, with the cost of energy and other goods and services increasing so much. It’s important to remember that help is available when we need it!
With suppliers and other organisations closing or operating reduced hours during the festive season, it is important that you seek support as soon as possible.
Our energy suppliers can be a useful source of support in the first instance, and we can reach out to them using the contact details found on communication such as statements, or their websites.
The team at energyadvice.scot can help if you are struggling to get through to them, and can also make direct referrals to other sources of support – their contact information is included later.
Energy UK Vulnerability Commitment
Most suppliers have signed up to the ‘Energy UK Vulnerability Commitment’, which is an agreement to uphold protections for certain groups of vulnerable people. If your supplier has signed up to this, they will not disconnect you from supply at any time of the year if there are children under the age of six living in the home.
They may be able to organise assistance for emergency prepayment top ups or refer you on to appropriate sources of support internally, such as hardship funds that can help.
Due to the fact you have a child in the property, they may also look at switching you over to a standard meter from prepayment to ensure that you do not self-disconnect from supply.
‘Self-disconnection’ of energy refers to a situation where a customer experiences an interruption to their gas and / or electricity because the credit on the meter has been exhausted or the credit is not easily accessible.
You may be required to set up a payment plan to account for future energy usage and to pay back any debt that is owed on the prepayment meter over a longer period that is more affordable.
You can also sign up to the Priority Services Register through your supplier, which may also help in the event your power / gas is interrupted.
Advice Direct Scotland run several services that can help support people who are struggling with the cost-of-living.
energyadvice.scot provide free, practical advice and information on energy-related matters to the citizens of Scotland and can answer energy-related enquiries. Our specialist advisers are available on 0808 196 8660 (Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm), or through the website.
These hours are slightly different over the Christmas period, with the organisation closed Saturday to Tuesday of each holiday week, so it is important to reach out as soon as you can.
The Scottish Government’s Home Heating Support Fund
The Scottish Government’s Home Heating Support Fund seeks to provide financial relief to energy consumers who are experiencing significant financial hardship. The team can work with you to assess your current situation and potentially provide funding to help you.
You can find more about the fund by visiting the website at www.homeheatingadvice.scot.
Specialist advisers at moneyadvice.scot can also provide free information and support on a wide-range of debt and money-related issues. You can call them on 0808 196 2316 (Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm).