Cost crisis: Constituency support for enquiries related to the cost of living and the cost of doing business

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About this blog

SPICe has received a high number of constituency enquiries relating to the current cost crisis. The Scottish Government defines the cost crisis as including:

“the sharp increases in the cost of living, in the cost of doing business and in the costs for other organisations including in the third and public sector”

This blog contains up-to-date links to a selection of trusted and official external sources of information relating to support available for individuals and organisations to help with the cost crisis.

Please note: this blog is updated every Friday morning.

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Please use the list of contents below to navigate around the blog
  1. Support for individuals and families
    1.2 Scottish Government support
    1.3 UK Government support
    1.4 Support with fuel and utilities
    1.5 Other useful sources  
  2. Support for businesses and organisations
    2.1 Other useful sources 

Support for individuals and families

Scottish Government support
  • Home Energy Scotland (HES)
    HES offers free impartial information and advice on making homes more energy efficient and available funding options on behalf of the Scottish Government. HES is the referral partner for most projects within the Fuel Insecurity Fund, which is distributed through third sector partner organisations. HES also administers the Warmer Homes Scotland scheme which offers advice and financial assistance to homeowners for the installation of energy saving improvements.  

  • Winter Heating Assistance
    Annual payment of £50, paid automatically through Social Security Scotland, to those who qualify. It will replace the Cold Weather Payment in Scotland, beginning in February 2023.
  • The Scottish Child Payment
    Those who are in receipt of certain payments or benefits can receive a weekly payment of £25 for every child they look after who is under the age of 16.

  • Child Winter Heating Assistance
    A payment to help disabled children and young people and their families with increased heating costs over winter. The payment for winter 2022-2023 is £214.10. 
  • Scottish Welfare Fund
    This Fund offers crisis grants and community care grants, applied for through the local authority.

  • Home Heating Support Fund
    Funding is available from the Scottish Government, through charity partners, for people struggling to pay energy bills. Individual households that have received money and / or energy advice from an accredited advice agency can apply through the ‘Household Application’ route. Advice Direct Scotland can also make referrals on to the fund on a customer’s behalf.
  • Discretionary Housing Payment
    Payment for those who receive Housing Benefit or Universal Credit and have difficulty paying for their housing costs. Applications are made through the local authority.

  • Tenant Grant Fund
    The Scottish Government has announced that it is widening the eligibility for the Tenant Grant Fund, to support those struggling with increasing costs. The fund was put in place during the pandemic to help pay rent arrears. Individuals should contact their local authority to apply.
UK Government support
  • Energy Bills Support Scheme
    £400 non-repayable discount will be paid to eligible households starting from October 2022. The money will be automatically added to energy accounts over 6 months.
  • Cost of Living Payment
    Those on means tested benefits may automatically get a payment of £650 paid in two lump sums of £326 and £324.
  • Winter Fuel Payment
    People born on or before 25 September 1956 can get between £250 and £600 to help pay for heating bills. Those eligible get an extra £300 with their normal payment from November 2022.
  • Warm Home Discount
    The Warm Home Discount is a discount of £150 on the electricity bill for eligible groups.
Support with fuel and utilities
  • Home Energy Scotland (HES)
    HES offers free impartial information and advice on behalf of the Scottish Government on how to make homes more energy efficient, including options for funding.

  • Child Winter Heating Assistance
    Benefit to help disabled children and young people and their families with increased heating costs over winter. The payment for winter 2022-2023 is £214.10. 

  • Low income Winter Heating Assistance
    Annual payment of £50, paid automatically through Social Security Scotland, to anyone who qualifies. It will replace the Cold Weather Payment in Scotland, beginning in February 2023.

  • Energy Bills Support Scheme
    This £400 non-repayable discount will be paid to eligible households starting from October 2022. The money will be automatically added to energy accounts over 6 months.
  • Winter Fuel Payment
    People born on or before 25 September 1956 can get between £250 and £600 to help pay for heating bills. Those eligible get an extra £300 with their normal payment from November 2022.

  • Home Heating Support Fund
    The fund ‘seeks to provide financial relief to energy consumers who are experiencing significant financial hardship and strives to provide this support to households regardless of the fuel or payment method used.’
Other useful sources
  • Bill Help UK
    Eligible customers can receive fuel vouchers for heating oil through this scheme. It is operated by energy suppliers and distributed by fuel banks and charities.

Support for businesses / organisations

  • Energy Bill Relief Scheme
    The UK Government will apply an automatic discount on the energy bills of all UK businesses, voluntary and public sectors. The discount will initially be applied to bills in the period between 1 October 2022 and 31 March 2023.

  • Business Energy Scotland (BES) SME loan scheme
    The loan can be used to finance the installation of energy efficient systems, equipment or building fabric.
  • Scottish Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (SIETF)
    The fund is aimed at industries with high energy usage. It can support investment in a range of technologies, including systems that re-use heat from industrial processes and technology that reduces the amount of energy used within a manufacturing production line.
  • District Heating Loan Scheme 
    Loans are offered for renewable and low carbon, low emission technologies for heating distributed through a network of pipes.
  • Natural Gas Framework
    A framework agreement for all public sector bodies, along with registered charities to save on the cost of natural gas.
  • Non-domestic rates relief
    Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses can get 50% non-domestic rates relief for the first three months of the year, capped at £27,500 per ratepayer.

  • Energy Redress Scheme
    Funding for projects that support energy consumers in vulnerable situations. Registered charities, community interest companies, co-operative societies and community benefit societies can apply.
Other useful sources
  • Business Energy Scotland (BES)
    BES is funded by the Scottish Government to provide free, impartial support and access to funding to help small and medium-sized enterprises save energy, carbon and money.

  • Circular Economy Accelerator
    Use the Circular Economy Accelerator from Zero Waste Scotland to explore resources and find out how Zero Waste Scotland can support your business on its circular economy journey.
  • Energy Savings Trust (EST)
    EST provide insight, advice, training and consultancy services to communities, local authorities, government and businesses on home energy efficiency, low carbon transport, and renewable energy generation.

Lena Phalen, Enquiries Officer