Thousands risk missing out on £1,700 free energy bill vouchers as deadline one week away | Personal Finance | Finance

Thousands of households have just over a week left to claim free cash worth up to £1,700 to help with energy bills.

The Home Heating Support Fund is available to households in Scotland, however there is not long left to claim it as the latest round will close to new applications on February 16.

The fund can help individuals pay their energy bills by sending a payment to their supplier and giving them an energy voucher that they can use to pay their bills.

People can get this help even if they use a pre-payment meter or a credit meter.

The average UK home is currently spending £1,928 a year on energy bills, so this extra help could be vital for those households on low incomes struggling to keep up with rising costs.

The Home Heating Support Fund is available to households in Scotland who can’t cover the cost of their gas and electricity.

It launched in 2020 and has run every year since, with over 5,000 people benefiting from the cash boost since then.

The scheme applies to those using different types of electricity. People can apply if they have a district heating network or unregulated fuels too.

However, the scheme has stated that “as a result of the closure of the Fuel Insecurity Fund in 2024-25, the Home Heating Support Fund will close to new applications on Friday, February 16, 2024.”

To make an application on behalf of one’s household, people can use the ‘Individual / Household Application Form – Apply Now’ on the website.

Up to £3million is currently available to support the fund.

A spokesperson for the Scottish Government said anyone who is “struggling to meet their fuel costs” can apply to the fund as the Cost of Living continues across the country.

Who is eligible?

Households will need to have money or energy advice from an accredited agency such as Home Energy Scotland to be considered.

Crucially, prepayment meter customers can only apply if they are in credit.

Everyone’s personal circumstances are also taken into consideration when applying. This includes if:

  • you live in a rural or remote area
  • you are 75 or over
  • you are on a disability benefit
  • you use medical equipment
  • you use alternative fuel such as oil, wood, or liquefied petroleum gas
  • you’re on Scottish Child Benefit
  • you’re a foster care leaver

Individuals can find more details on who is eligible on the Home Heating Advice Scotland website.

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