A man holds his child in a blanket together to keep warm.

Struggling with high energy costs?

Energy costs in the UK remain high. Many people are still struggling to pay their bills, even though the Ofgem price cap has come down recently. In Scotland, 1.4 million people regularly sit in the dark, with no TV or laptop/tablet on, to save on energy bills. For those in East Dunbartonshire, advice on paying energy bills is available from the local Citizens Advice Bureau. You can arrange a chat to speak to us, or read on to discover some ways you can save, as well as routes to claim for assistance with energy costs.

Heat yourself, not the house

Central heating is a great way to heat up a home. This is useful if you have a large family and regularly move from room to room throughout the day. However, if you find you or your family tend to spend most time in one room – perhaps the living room when you come home at night – then heating up the whole house could be a waste of energy and money. Try reducing the radiator temperatures in other rooms, whilst keeping your main family room warm. 

Warming blankets have also become increasing popular during the last few years as people seek ways to stay warm but reduce their bills. These blankets plug into the wall and keep you warm as you watch TV, read a book or another activity that requires sitting down. They cost just pennies to run each hour and can keep you warm without needing to heat up a whole house. 

A woman holds her child close as she checks to see if the heating is on.

Financial help for energy bills

Depending on your age and financial situation, you may be able to claim additional help to pay for your energy bills. In Scotland, these include:

Scottish welfare fund crisis grant

Those in East Dunbartonshire on a low income may be able to apply for a welfare grant to help with energy costs. This is something you apply directly to the council for. To find out more, click here for East Dunbartonshire Council’s information page

Winter fuel payment

If you were born before 25 September 1957, you may be eligible for the winter fuel payment. You normally do not have to apply for this, as it will be given to you automatically. However, it is worth checking whether you need to claim or not. The annual one-off payment to help with energy costs is usually between £250 and £600.

Warm home discount

Those on a low income who are eligible for this scheme could get £150 off their electricity bill. You do not need to apply if you get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit. To check eligibility and to apply, click here

Winter heating payment and child winter heating payment

The winter heating payment is designed to help people on a low income pay for their energy. Most people who are eligible do not need to apply. It is a one-off annual payment of around £55. Find out more about they payment here. 

The child winter heating payment is for homes where disabled children, young people and their families might have extra heating needs. Again, most people who qualify don’t need to apply. It is a one-off annual payment of around £235. Find out more about the child winter heating payment here. 

Citizens Advice: here to help

Nearly 3 million people in Scotland have cut back on food as a result of rising energy costs. Our aim is to help as many people as possible to keep them living healthy and happy lives. If you would like to talk to someone about your energy bills, then click here to make an appointment with an expert at the East Dunbartonshire Citizens Advice Bureau. 

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