Home Home Improvement Scots urged to apply for up to £5,000 in energy-saving home improvement...

Scots urged to apply for up to £5,000 in energy-saving home improvement grants

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For many people still working from home or now following a new hybrid way of working, being in the house for longer periods of time typically means having the heating on more often than in the days before the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the upcoming 54 per cent increase to millions of energy bills will see Scots pay £693 more per year for average usage, putting additional financial pressure on most household budgets from April.

Ofgem, the energy regulator was forced to hike the energy price cap to a record £1,971 for a typical household as wholesale gas prices soared to unprecedented highs with the decision expected to impact 22 million households across the UK.

But people may not be aware that Home Energy Scotland offers householders free advice on energy efficiency and renewables to help them save money and heat their home more effectively.

Harry Mayers, Head of Home Energy Scotland explains: “A home that isn’t well insulated can lose more than 50 per cent of its heat through its roof and walls so making improvements can help your finances and make your home more energy efficient, comfortable and cheaper to heat while helping lower emissions in Scotland.

“The good news is that help is available through Home Energy Scotland, including free advice and interest-free loans.”

Households struggling with low energy efficiency and lower incomes can also access the Scottish Government’s Warmer Homes Scotland programme through Home Energy Scotland.

So far, more than 24,000 households have benefited from energy efficient measures including new heating systems or insulation.

Harry added: “With people spending more time at home over the past 18 months due to coronavirus, energy usage has been greater than ever. We want to be able to help even more people to make energy-saving improvements to their home.”

Home Energy Scotland top tips for people working from home

Take control

If you’re feeling cold, Home Energy Scotland recommends fitting and using a thermostat to help regulate the temperature in your home.

By setting your thermostat correctly your heating should come on only when the temperature drops below the level you want and will go off again when the desired temperature has been reached.

The World Health Organisation suggests an optimum temperature of 18-21 degrees Celsius indoors.

Installing heating controls could save £75 on your annual gas bill and possibly even more if you’re home all day.

Location, location, location

If possible, locate your desk or workstation somewhere that’s free of draughts and in a bright sunny spot.

You may find that being close to a window was great in the summer, but is colder now that we’re in the midst of a bleak Scottish winter.

Opting for a spot with good natural light will also reduce the need to have the lights on during the day.

Keep the heat in

The main source of draughts are doors and windows, letterboxes and chimneys, as well as lofts and basements.

Make sure any cold spots are sealed with insulation tape – available to buy on Amazon for as little as £3 – or even electrical tape.

While it may not be glamorous it is effective and a super-quick fix.

Get in touch with Home Energy Scotland

If it’s time to think about some new heating, long-term draught-proofing or insulation you can get free impartial advice from Home Energy Scotland.

It can also help you access financial support worth up to £5,000 for getting the work done.

If you need help or advice about heating your home or rising energy bills, visit the Home Energy Scotland website here or call the Home Energy Scotland helpline on 0808 808 2282.

Julie Bradley from Glasgow contacted Home Energy Scotland after her boiler broke during the first lockdown.

A neighbour recommended Home Energy Scotland when her heating wasn’t working properly, and when it completely broke down in March 2020, Julie decided to get in touch.



Julie Bradley from Glasgow contacted Home Energy Scotland after her boiler broke during the first lockdown

At the time, the 42-year-old didn’t have any financial help and had been placed on furlough, so she called to see what support was available to her.

The mum-of-one explained: “I work in retail and due to the lockdown I was put on furlough, and I had no idea how I was going to afford to pay for a new boiler.

“A neighbour recommended that I contact Home Energy Scotland to see what help was available. I was delighted to find out I was eligible for funding.

“Two weeks later I had a new energy efficient boiler installed, and my home has gone from being damp and cold to being warm straight away, and I have seen a saving on my heating bills.”

Julie continued: “I had a lot of worry about not having heating over the winter but the new system has taken that pressure off me – both financially and for warmth.

“I feel so much more relaxed about my situation. I can’t believe how hot the house gets now and how quickly too! It really is amazing. I think money wise as well it’s going to help me and that’s a big difference. I actually can’t believe I’ve got a new heating system.”

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https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/lifestyle/money/energy-saving-home-improvement-grants-26441469