New £1m fund to support vulnerable homes with energy bills launched

Those concerned about rising energy costs will be able to seek free advice from a new network of energy advisors.

New £1m fund to support vulnerable and hard to reach homes with energy bills launched iStock
Rising energy costs have many worried about their financial circumstances.

Vulnerable households across Scotland could benefit from a £1m fund designed to help those struggling amid the cost of living crisis meet soaring energy charges.

An estimated 6,000 homes may be eligible to receive a portion of the Safe and Warm Advice Service pot as part of a new programme between the body in charge of Scotland’s gas supply and the Citizens’ Advice network.

It is hoped the tie up can ensure more people are advised on how to use energy safely and efficiently in their homes to help reduce their energy bills.

Details on how to protect homes from the dangers posed by carbon monoxide poisoning and what action to take if residents fear they have symptoms.

Maureen McIntosh, head of customer experience at SGN, said: “We’re extremely excited to be working with the Citizens Advice network in Scotland, one of the most well-known, highly regarded, and trusted advice organisations.

“We know this partnership is going to make a huge difference to communities across Scotland. With the cost-of-living crisis, this support is more vital than ever to keep those households and families most in need safe and warm.”

Energy advisors will be appointed to Citizens’ Advice facilities across central and Southern Scotland to support vulnerable people, as well as hard-to-reach groups, like asylum seekers, minority ethnic groups, travellers, Park Home communities and those who are digitally excluded.

It is hoped they can guide those struggling financially towards all benefits and grants they are entitled to.

Regulator Ofgem initially raised the price cap for energy firms in April, but a second rise is expected in October amid rising inflation and pressure on global supplies.

Derek Mitchell, chief executive at Citizens Advice Scotland, said: “This is a terrific boost to our work providing energy-related advice.

“SGN has supported our work over many years and this is the latest manifestation of that. The new money will mean CABs across Scotland can employ additional advisers.

“The specific aims of this project are to reach vulnerable people, including those who are hard-to-reach, and that’s a hugely important objective. The emphasis on CO poisoning is also extremely important, and will hopefully save lives.”