MSP Bill Walker urges Fifers to call Home Heat Helpline

Bill Walker MSP at the Scottish Parliament launch of the Home Heat Helpline, with Christine McGourty, Director of Communications & Public Affairs, Energy UK

New research reveals that around 19,600, or 12%, of households in Fife are entitled to help with their energy costs, a figure comparable with Scotland taken as a whole. The news has prompted Dunfermline MSP Bill Walker to encourage Fifers to call a free helpline offering information about available assistance.

The Home Heat Helpline (0800 33 66 99) is an impartial and confidential service connecting people and families on low incomes, and those in poor health, with support worth an average of £160. The help available includes discounts, rebate schemes, and grants for insulation and new boilers.

Speaking at the helpline’s recent Scottish Parliament launch, Mr Walker said:

“Many people don’t realise what support is available. Anyone in Fife who is concerned about staying warm should call the Home Heat Helpline and seek advice. I would also ask people to look out for neighbours, friends and relatives who may be in difficulty and make sure that they are aware of the Home Heat Helpline.”

Fifers contacting the Home Heat Helpline will be put through to a friendly adviser who will provide advice on reducing energy bills. In addition, an Energy Checker available online at www.homeheathelpline.org.uk will help show if residents are entitled to help.

Christine McGourty from the Home Heat Helpline also advises people to think about what they can do around the home to reduce their energy consumption:

“As the weather gets colder and households turn on their heating, now is the ideal time to remind people that lots of help is available to keep warm, and that the Home Heat Helpline is there to assist them. We’re urging anyone on a low income, older people, families with young children and those with long-term health conditions to call the Home Heat Helpline to claim the free help they are entitled to in reducing their bills.”

There are also some other simple steps people can take in reducing their energy. For example:

• Turning your thermostat down by 1·C could cut your heating bills by up to 10 per cent and save you around £100 a year.

• Turn radiators down in rooms which you only use occasionally

• Switch your lights off when you’re not using them

• Turn appliances like TVs and phone chargers off at the wall rather than leaving them on standby when they’re not being used

• Replace normal light bulbs with energy efficient ones

• Regularly defrost your freezer to make sure it’s operating at full efficiency

• Draw curtains over windows at night to provide insulation for the room

• Move furniture away from radiators and heaters to allow heat to circulate around the room.

Bill Walker MSP at the Scottish Parliament launch of the Home Heat Helpline, with Christine McGourty, Director of Communications & Public Affairs, Energy UK

Bill Walker MSP at the Scottish Parliament launch of the Home Heat Helpline, with Christine McGourty, Director of Communications & Public Affairs, Energy UK

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