With winter on the way, Isles MP Angus MacNeil is calling on his constituents to ensure they are taking advantage of free help and support with energy bills.

Mr MacNeil, who met with representatives from Scottish Gas at the House of Commons this week, said: “It is really important to be prepared for winter and I want all my constituents in Na h-Eileanan an Iar to understand what help is available for them, and for their family and friends. Being energy efficient and keeping bills under control is so important and I advise everyone to get in touch with their energy supplier to find out what support is on offer.”

“There are a number of simple steps that every constituent should take to make sure they’re doing all they can to keep their bills down and their home warm.”

Christine McGourty, Managing Director of Scottish Gas said: “Winter can be a challenging time for households and many people will be concerned about their winter energy bill. There is help available and we urge customers to get in touch to find out what advice and support is on offer.

“In the long term, energy efficiency is still the best way to save money on bills. Scottish Gas is pleased to be working with government at all levels to roll out free loft and cavity wall insulation for eligible households, and you don’t need to be a Scottish Gas customer to sign up.

“We’re also proud to be leading the way in the roll-out of smart meters which enable you to see how much energy you are using in pounds and pence and identify where savings can be made.”

Insulate your home

One of the best ways to be energy efficient and keep your home warm is to insulate it. Scottish Gas is currently offering free loft and cavity wall insulation as part of the UK Government’s ECO scheme. Insulation can save hundreds of pounds – for example loft insulation can save up to £140 and cavity wall insulation can save up to £160 per year in a typical semi-detached home. To find out if your home is suitable call Scottish Gas free on 0800 316 4051 or visit: scottishgas.co.uk/insulation

Other energy efficiency schemes are available through local agencies like Tighean Innse Gall or the Scottish Government directly. Call the Home Energy Scotland hotline on 0808 808 2282 for help and advice.

Get the best deal

Make sure you are on the best gas and electricity tariff for you. Scottish Gas tells customers in every bill if they have a better tariff for them, allows customers to switch between its tariffs without paying a penalty charge and offers flexible payment plans which allow customers to set and manage their own payments. Anyone worried about their energy bill can call Scottish Gas on 0800 048 0202 to discuss the help available.

Extra support for vulnerable customers

Constituents may be entitled to extra support from the Government and their energy supplier if they meet certain criteria. Last year thousands of Scottish Gas customers in the UK received the Warm Home Discount – a one off discount of £140 on the electricity bill.

Scottish Gas has the broadest eligibility criteria of all energy suppliers. Scottish Gas customers should call 0800 072 8625.

The Scottish Gas Energy Trust

The Scottish Gas Energy Trust is an independent charitable trust that offers advice and support for people who are struggling with their household bills. Since it was established in 2004, Scottish Gas/British Gas has provided £78million of funding to the Trust which has helped more than 120,000 people with debt advice and grants. Scottish Gas has teamed up with three debt centres in Scotland Scottish Gas to fund support workers to help people apply for a grant and provide face-to-face advice. You don’t even need to be a Scottish Gas

customer to apply. For more information on the Scottish Gas Energy Trust, visit: scottishgasenergytrust.org.uk

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