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Blog Post 3 December 2021

Helping those who need it most stay warm this winter

Every home should be warm and safe, but for over 4 million households in the UK, including June McNamara, the reality is very different.

June is an 80-year-old pensioner who lives alone in a two-bedroom flat in South Lanarkshire. Her home was heated by old storage heaters and she was distressed after her energy supplier sent her an unexpected bill for £600.

She turned to her local Citizens Advice Bureau for support, who suggested she should get in touch with Home Energy Scotland for advice.

Home Energy Scotland is an advice service funded by the Scottish Government and managed by Energy Saving Trust. Visit Home Energy Scotland to find out more.

‘It caused me a lot of sleepless nights’

June contacted her local Home Energy Scotland advice centre and we arranged for a specialist Energycarer, Matthew, to visit her at home. During that visit, June talked through the issues she had been experiencing and the stress it was causing her.

She said: “When I received that bill, I couldn’t believe it. It caused me a lot of sleepless nights. My storage heaters were at least 30 years old and some of them did not work properly. Every day after getting washed, I had to run from my freezing cold bathroom to get dressed in another room.”

Matthew found that June qualified for support from Warmer Homes Scotland, a Scottish Government scheme which helps vulnerable people make their homes warmer and more comfortable.

June was offered a new heating system which would reduce her bills and make her home more comfortable. This was going to be a big job though, as her flat needed a lot of preparatory work before the new system could be installed.

Feeling overwhelmed, June asked for her application to be put on hold, but Matthew continued to support her through the process and encouraged her to continue with the installation. June’s new heating system was successfully installed and she is delighted with the changes.

‘Now I have a nice warm home’

“The service was excellent! Matthew was just so lovely and took away a lot of the stress. I don’t think I could have gone ahead with the installation without his help. Now I have a nice warm home – and bathroom! It’s made such a difference,” she said.

We’ve continued to support June since she got her new heating system by helping her get set up with a new electricity tariff and arrange for a smart meter to be installed. We’ve also offered June advice on switching energy supplier and help to apply for the Warm Home Discount, a UK Government scheme that gives extra help to people struggling with their energy bills.

Help is available where you live

If you are finding it difficult to stay warm this winter or need help to pay your energy bills, there is help available.

This case study was first published by Home Energy Scotland.

Home Energy Scotland phone number

Last updated: 14 January 2022