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Support for bills and energy

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 or living with a chronic health condition.

Some energy companies can make special arrangements if you are struggling. For example, Scottish Power has a hardship fund to help out customers.  Check with you individual supplier about what support they offer.

If you are being pursued for debt to an energy supplier then you can contact Changeworks on 0800 870 8800 or email

Our housing team have also put together a Home Energy Advice page

Money to help pay energy bills

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

  • Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding

    is providing support of £400 for energy bills for households in England, Scotland, and Wales without a direct relationship to a domestic electricity supplier. This support is provided by His Majesty’s Government and is delivered by local authorities. The scheme is now open to all eligible households across Great Britain until 31 May 2023.

    Subject to applications meeting the eligibility criteria, people who will be able to receive support include:
    • Care home residents and others in care facilities/sheltered accommodation (wholly or partly self-funded)
    • Park home residents, houseboats and caravans that can provide proof of address
    • Social and private tenants who pay for energy through a landlord on a commercial supply
    • Homes on a heat network/private wire
    • Off-grid homes
    • Farmhouses used for wholly domestic purposes

If you are eligible for EBSS AF, you will need to fill out a short online form via the GOV.UK website. This form can be found by searching “Apply for energy bill support if you do not get it automatically” into the search bar on GOV.UK or an internet search engine. Applications are made directly to His Majesty’s Government, not to or via Local Authorities. If you do not have online access, you can apply via a contact centre on 08081753287 where a representative will guide you through the application process.

Once you have applied, your application will be processed and verified. After this if your application is successful, your details will be shared with local authorities, who will deliver the one-off, non-repayable support. The payment will be made directly into your bank account in a single instalment.

Further information can be found on GOV.UK.


Making your home more energy efficient and reducing your bills

Lots of Orkney’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.


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.

You can find out more about the Priority Services Register offered by SSEN or call their customer care number 0800 294 3259.


Other help with fuel bills and tips for savings

  • Money Saving Expert website  has a range of helpful information on the where you can learn about reducing costs for gas and electricity as well as other services like broadband and mobile phones.
  • Age Scotland has guidance on energy and how to reduce your bills.
  • Energy Saving Trust Scotland helps you save energy and reduce your bills.
  • Fuel Bank Foundation can help you with money for your pre-payment meter.
  • Greener Scotland gives advice on how to save energy, reduce waste, travel smarter and eat greener.

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