Winters are hard in Scotland and keeping warm can stretch the budgets of many people on low incomes. The Scottish government has introduced a number of schemes helping people with the costs of heating their homes. It has a focus on green living as well, believing that a greener Scotland improves the quality of people’s lives and the environment around them.
Help and advice
The Scottish government, energy suppliers and local authorities all provide different types of grants and funding for citizens to implement energy-saving measures. Help is available for measures including installing energy-efficient boilers, loft insulation, cavity wall insulation and paying energy bills. Wading through the information forms and applications forms for financial support can be a complex and time-consuming task but there is a useful grants and discounts database on the Energy Saving Trust’s website which allows you to input information about yourself and your home. An advisor will then reviews your enquiry and call you to discuss the options for grants or support available to you.
The Green Deal
The Green Deal allows you to make environment-friendly home improvements such as draught-proofing or loft insulation and then pay off the cost in instalments through your energy bills. You will need to sign a Green Deal Plan which is a contract between you and the energy provider agreeing on repayment terms. You can contact Home Energy Scotland on 0800 512 012 for further advice on these schemes.
Greener Homes Cashback Scheme
The Greener Homes Cashback Scheme offers cashback of up to £1,200 on home improvements done under the Green Deal, provided the measures were recommended as part of a Green Deal assessment. Apply for the cashback online via the Energy Saving Trust or complete the Home Energy Scotland contact form and have an advisor call you back
Home Loans Renewables Scheme
The Home Loans Renewables Scheme provides interest free loans for renewables systems that offer a green way to cut down on heating costs. The loans are available for heat generating technologies such as biomass boilers, and electricity generating technologies such as solar PV panels and wind turbines. You can download a loan application from the scheme’s page on the Energy Saving Trust website.
Renewable Heat Premium Payment Scheme
The Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme is available across the UK and is aimed at helping with heating costs by providing grants for the installation of renewable heating technologies in your home. These include improvements such as solar thermal hot water, heat pumps and biomass boilers.
Help for pensioners
Pensioners in Scotland can access help with heating their homes through the government's Energy Assistance Package. This provides advice on energy saving, benefits and energy tariff advice, and free insulation for lofts and cavity walls. Enhanced packages including new boilers and central heating systems are available dependent on individual circumstances. You can call 0800 316 6009 for further advice.