Benefits and debt advice

Help with gas and electricity costs

If you are struggling to pay your energy bills then it is best to contact your supplier to ask for help to meet costs or arrange pre-payments. Make sure your supplier knows if anyone in your household is vulnerable such as

  • elderly
  • very young 
  • living with a chronic health condition

Some energy companies can make special arrangements if you are struggling. For example, Scottish Gas has a help and advice if you are struggling to pay your gas and Scottish Power has a hardship fund to help out customers.

If you are being pursued for debt to an energy supplier then you can contact  Changeworks on 0800 870 8800  or email  ask@changeworks.org.uk

Money to help pay energy bills

There are a number of sources of financial assistance paying your energy bills depending on your circumstances:

Winter Fuel Payment

If you were born on or before 25 September 1956 ou could get between £100 and £300 to help pay your energy bills. This is tax free. 

Check if you can get the Winter Fuel Payment.

Warm Home Discount

You can get £140 off your electricity bill if you qualify for the Warm Home Discount scheme.

To qualify you need to either

  • get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit,
  • or be on a low income and meet your energy supplier's criteria.

Check if you can get the Warm Home Discount.

Winter Heating Payment

Winter Heating Payment is replacing the Cold Weather Payment in Scotland. If you qualify you could get £50 paid automatically once a year to help with your energy bills in winter. This starts in February 2023.

Check if you are eligible for the Cold Weather Payment in Scotland

Child Winter Heating Assistance 

Child Winter Heating Assistance is a payment to help disabled children, young people and their families with heating costs in winter.

Social Security Scotland make payments once a year from the end of November.

Check if you qualify for Child Winter Heating Assistance.

Home Heating Support Fund

The Home Heating Support Fund can help you pay your energy bills by

  • sending a payment to your supplier,
  • giving you an energy voucher that you can use to pay your bills.

You can get this help even if you use:

  • a pre-payment meter
  • a credit meter
  • a district heating network
  • unregulated fuels

Find out how you can apply for the Home Heating Support Fund.

You can also apply by phoning Advice Direct Scotland free on 0808 800 9060.

Check what other sources of funding to help with energy and other costs might be available in your area.

Making your home more energy efficient and reducing your bills

Lots of Edinburgh’s homes are not as warm as they should be so could do with improvements to make them more energy efficient, reduce draughts or keep the warmth in.

Warmer Homes Scotland 

You can get help with home improvements if you're struggling to heat your home and you get certain benefits. The help you're able to get depends on what benefits you're on.

Help you could get includes:

  • wall insulation
  • loft insulation
  • draught-proofing
  • boilers and heating
  • renewable and micro-renewable heating system
  • solar panels
  • domestic battery storage
  • air source heat pumps

Visit Warmer Homes Scotland to see if you qualify.

Phone Warmer Homes Scotland free on 0808 808 2282.

You could apply for this help even if you've already used another Scottish Government funded energy efficiency scheme.

Home Energy Scotland, part of Changeworks

If you’re a homeowner, you could get a loan from Home Energy Scotland.

Home Energy Scotland loans:

  • are interest free
  • can help you lower energy use and carbon footprint

You could use the loan to buy:

  • insulation
  • heating systems
  • solar panels
  • heat pumps

Read more about the Home Energy Scotland Loan.

Home Energy Scotland advisors can also give energy saving advice including checking you are with the most cost effective supplier and ideas that will help reduce your energy use and save money on your bills

Phone Home Energy Scotland free on 0808 808 2282 or find out about fuel supplies, warmer homes and lower energy bills on the Changeworks website

Information and help for home energy costs for Edinburgh Council Tenants

If you live in an Edinburgh council tenancy find out more information and advice on home energy costs in Edinburgh including contact information for the Edinburgh Council Tenant Energy Advice Service.

Problems with your energy supply

If you are a Priority Household such as elderly, with young children, have a disability or serious health condition, You can register as a priority household to ensure that you get swift assistance if there’s a problem with energy supply.

Call 0330 101 0167 or email customercare@spenergynetworks.com

You can find out more about the Priority Servcies Register or text PSR to 61999.

Other help with fuel bills and tips for savings