Martin Whitfield MSP has welcomed a new £1 million energy fund to help residents in East Lothian heat their homes this winter.
The partnership between Community Windpower, Advice Direct Scotland and East Lothian Council has now opened for applications from people in the county struggling with their bills.
Grant applications can be made by individuals through a new dedicated website, www.communityadvice.scot, while ‘referral partners’ such as the council, charities and local housing associations can apply on behalf of vulnerable people.
Anyone on means-tested benefits can apply directly, while referral partners can also act on behalf of anyone on a low income or facing financial hardship.
National charity Advice Direct Scotland, which also runs the Scottish Government’s Home Heating Support Fund, will make payments for electricity usage by issuing PayPoint or Post Office vouchers or send the money direct to the supplier for those with a credit meter.
Only one application can be made by, or on behalf of, a household – and in most cases a grant will be awarded for two months’ electricity use. It is over and above all existing national support available, including the UK Government’s Energy Bills Support Scheme.
However, additional payments can be made based on individual circumstances, such as the number of children in a household or evidence of illness or disability.
The fund is not for historical debt and is due to run until the end of March 2023.
Full details are available at www.communityadvice.scot.