Scots urged to seek energy help and advice

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People across the country are being urged to act now to cut their bills and make their homes warmer as part of a Scottish Government campaign to encourage people to call the Home Energy Scotland Hotline (0808 808 2282).

A one-stop shop for advice and support, the Home Energy Scotland Hotline is there to help Scots keep warm this winter and beyond. Around a third of Scottish households have been offered advice by the hotline since it started, and it is the only source of clear and impartial advice on how to make your home cheaper to heat.

The campaign to highlight the hotline comes as the Scottish Government has announced it will invest millions into a new national fuel poverty scheme. This will build on the success of the Energy Assistance Scheme, which has provided over 46,000 vulnerable households with heating and/or insulation measures over the past five years.

Everyone can get help from the hotline; it is not just for the stereotypically disadvantaged or elderly people. As well as receiving money-saving energy advice, households may be eligible to receive money towards the cost of replacing their old, inefficient boiler with a new model, which could also cut hundreds of pounds off their annual fuel bills.

Many are also in line for free loft and cavity wall insulation, and some will even receive a full central heating system at no cost.

The government’s new scheme will build on the existing programme, to address fuel poverty, which affects more than a quarter of all Scottish households – 27 per cent - through a mix of rising energy prices and the many old, inefficient houses in Scotland.

The government will shortly be inviting bids for a contract, worth up to £224 million over seven years, to deliver the scheme from 2015.

Launching the campaign, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “It takes just one phone call to the Home Energy Scotland hotline to see if you can save money on winter fuel bills, and I would encourage people to call the hotline on 0808 808 2282, or visit the HES website.

“Anyone can get energy efficiency advice and find out what’s available to them, and many others can also qualify for energy saving improvements such as insulation, boilers or central heating for free.

“Rising energy bills remain a huge concern for the Scottish Government and fuel poverty is still a major issue in Scotland, with over 27 per cent of households affected.

“I am delighted to announce a contract worth up to £224 million over seven years for the delivery of a new national fuel poverty scheme from 2015.

“This long term contract will help thousands more households over the next few years, and is part of our commitment to helping Scots escape fuel poverty.”

To find out exactly what you are eligible for - whatever your circumstances - call the Scottish Government’s Home Energy Scotland Hotline now on 0808 808 2282 or go to www.homeenergyscotland.org.uk

Act now to make your home warmer and help Scotland go greener together.