If you reside in Scotland and you have difficulty affording to heat your home, HEEPS can help. The Scottish only energy scheme was introduced to ensure all Scottish citizens can afford to stay warm and cosy all year round. So what exactly is it and is everyone eligible?
Understanding the HEEPS scheme
The HEEPS scheme is made up of three different parts. As well as offering advice on how to lower your energy bills, HEEPS is separated into:
- Warmer Homes Scotland
- Area based schemes
Warmer Homes Scotland is one of the more recent parts to be introduced, set up in September 2015. It is available to private sector households including tenants and owner-occupiers. Worth £16 million per year for up to a maximum of seven years, it largely helps tenants and homeowners afford insulation. However, it also focuses on sustainable methods to reduce fuel costs and make the Scottish housing stock more energy efficient.
The area based schemes are largely focused on the most fuel deprived parts of the country. Funding is provided to local councils to be used for fuel poverty programs. This has so far been mainly helping to provide solid wall insulation. This helps reduce fuel bills and saves on emissions, leading to long-term savings and helping people get out of fuel poverty.
Finally, it supplies unsecured loans of up to £15,000, interest free, to help fund new boilers, insulation and double glazing, as well as other energy saving measures. These loans are available to private sector landlords and owner-occupiers.
Am I eligible?
To find out if you’re eligible, you can contact your local council. If you’re hoping to apply for a loan, remember you do need to be a private sector landlord or owner-occupier. You’ll be required to fill out an application form and state which type of improvement you want to install, as found on the Energy Savings Trust website.
For the area based and warmer homes scheme you’ll need to contact your local council and they’ll be able to determine whether you’re eligible for help.
Overall, if you’re struggling to pay your energy bills, the chances are you’re going to be eligible to benefit from the HEEPS scheme if you live in Scotland. It’s also worth taking advantage of the free advice offered via the scheme on how to reduce your energy bills. They’ll also let you know if you’re entitled to any benefits or tax credits that you might not be aware of.