The following information has been adapted from the Scottish Government’s cost-of-living crisis support pages. You can view this resource here.
We have highlighted and adapted the information that we believe is most relevant to Tiree residents.
This information is accurate as of July 2023.
If you’re struggling to pay your energy bills, contacting your supplier as soon as possible is important. Our Community Support Officers are available to help you locate their contact information and reach out to them for assistance.
Your energy supplier will look to set out an affordable payment plan and will also be able to advise you on how to use less energy. They may also have funds or grants you can apply for.
Does your house run on coal, oil, wood, or bottled gas?
Support funds are available for houses that are “off-grid” (those not connected to mains gas) and purchase fuel in bulk. These funds are intended for those who use fuels that are bought upfront and in bulk; common examples are wood, coal, oil, and bottled gas.
While all houses in Tiree are “off-grid”, (i.e. not connected to mains gas), this support is not available to those who live in a house with electric heating (e.g. panel radiators). Please see below if you have electric heating and a pre-payment meter.
If you have electric heating and do not have a pre-payment meter, please get in touch with us directly for further information on available support.
Do you have a pre-payment meter?
If you are on a pre-payment meter and find yourself unable to afford a payment, there is emergency financial support available. This support is also available if you anticipate being unable to top-up your pre-payment meter within the next 48 hours. Please get in touch with our Community Support Officers for further information.
Were you born on or before 25th September 1956?
You could be eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment and entitled to between £100 and £300 to help pay your energy bills. This is tax-free.
You should receive this payment automatically if you are eligible. If you think you are eligible, but have not received a payment, you can make a claim. If you’re unsure how to claim, our Community Support Officers can provide assistance.
Could you be eligible for the Warm Home Discount?
This scheme is currently closed but will reopen in October 2023. Under the current eligibility criteria, a £150 payment can be made if you either;
- get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit
- are on a low income and meet your energy supplier’s criteria for the scheme
Could you be eligible for the Winter Heating Payment?
This scheme offers £50 once a year to help with your energy bills during the winter.
This payment is made automatically to those who are eligible.
You could qualify if you get certain benefits, like:
- Pension Credit
- Income Support
- Income Based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income Related Employment and Support Allowance
- Universal Credit
- Support for Mortgage Interest
If you believe you should be eligible for this payment but have yet to receive it, you must contact Social Security Scotland by phone or by filling out a request form. If you need support to make a phone call or fill out a form, let our Community Support Officers know; we can support you throughout the process.
Do you have a child who receives a disability payment?
The Child Winter Heating Assistance is available if your child is on certain qualifying benefits;
- the highest rate of the care component of Child Disability Payment
- the highest rate of the care component of Disability Living Allowance for children
- the enhanced daily living component of Personal Independence Payment
- the enhanced rate of the daily living component of Adult Disability Payment
They must be getting this on at least one day in the third full week of September. In 2023 this will be Monday the 18th of September to Sunday 24th of September.
The payment is per child, not per household, and is usually automatic. If you believe your child should be eligible for this payment but is yet to receive it, you will need to contact Social Security Scotland or the DWP, depending on the qualifying benefit the child receives. Let our Community Support Officers know if you need support to make contact; we can guide you through the process.
Are you eligible for the Home Heating Support Fund?
The Home Heating Support Fund (see here) is available for those struggling to afford their energy bills, including those who practice “self-rationing” (limiting energy usage to prioritise spending elsewhere, such as food and travel costs).
If you have been disconnected from your energy supply, you can only apply to the fund once you are back on supply. Emergency help for those who have already been disconnected is available through other funds with faster processing times.
You can apply on your household’s behalf or with a referral partner’s support. The Home Heating Support Fund lists these partners here.
All applicants must have received money or energy advice from an accredited agency to be eligible; this is to ensure the money awarded will be as effective as possible. You can get accredited advice from moneyadvice.scot.
Individual circumstances, such as fuel poverty, rural locations, off-grid energy supplies, age, and situation, are considered when making funding decisions.