Some people in the Falkirk area say the high energy costs mean they only turn their heating on if their grandchildren come to visit and campaign group Falkirk’s Forgotten Villages – Ending Fuel Poverty fears some families are going to be forced to choose between heating and eating this winter.
A Falkirk Council spokesman said: “The last year has had a significant impact on our lives especially those who have been furloughed with a reduced income – trying to heat a home on can put pressures on already tight budgets.”
The local authority has issued some “top tips” which could help alleviate financial pressures over the winter.
- Look for a better deal – changing fuel supplier can reduce the amount you pay, putting more money in your pocket.
- Install a smart meter to see how much energy you are using at any given time. It can help to reduce your bills as it allows you to see which appliances are the big users of energy and then subsequently you can limit their use. Contact your energy supplier to see if you can arrange to have one fitted.
- Most large energy suppliers offer a Warm Homes Discount to those who are eligible. This is a payment of £140 into your electricity account over the winter months. To find out if you meet the criteria, contact your energy supplier now as many schemes will be open for application.
- Contact Home Energy Scotland for free and impartial advice on how to improve the warmth of your home and keep your bills down. They can help you use your heating system more efficiently and advise on how to change energy supplier. Home Energy Scotland can be contacted on freephone 0808 808 2282 or www.homeenergyscotland.org/
Falkirk Council also have staff who can help you with fuel debt issues and income maximisation.
For more help call the Debt Advice Team on (01324) 506735 or e-mail [email protected]
For the Welfare Benefits Advice team e-mail [email protected] or call (01324) 506070.
Staff can also refer you to Home Energy Scotland for a Fuel Voucher if you are really struggling to put money onto your pre-payment meter.