By Harry Mayers

AS we continue to navigate through the pandemic, many of us are still spending more time living and working at home. But recent research by Home Energy Scotland has revealed that 70 per cent of people in Scotland feel concerned about rising energy bills, with almost two-thirds using more energy than usual during the first 12 months of the pandemic. The research found that 59 per cent of Scots have already noticed a rise in their energy bills.

Worryingly there has been a 17% increase in the proportion of customers who say they are now in fuel poverty since lockdown.

Winter may seem a long way off – thankfully – but with more than 60% of households seeing an increase in the amount of energy they are using, summer is actually the best time to seek support. I’d like to urge householders to act now to make their homes more energy efficient before the colder winter months return.

A home that isn’t well insulated can lose more than 50% of its heat through its roof and walls so making improvements now can help your finances as well as lowering emissions

But the good news is there is a lot of help available. Additional funding has been made available to allow more people to get support as we recover from the continuing impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Scottish Government has increased the level of support available and its Warmer Homes Scotland programme, delivered by Warmworks, provides home improvements like home insulation, secondary glazing or a new heating system for eligible households, worth around £5,000.

Home Energy Scotland, the Scottish Government’s free energy efficiency advice service, helps people access Warmer Homes Scotland along with a range of other financial support and impartial advice. If it looks like you might be eligible for help under Warmer Homes Scotland, you will be referred to Warmworks for an initial survey of your home. Safety measures like PPE and social distancing are still in place to protect householders and staff.

There’s also the bigger picture to think about. The Home Energy Scotland research highlights that nearly three-quarters of Scottish homeowners (73%) think home energy saving and domestic energy efficiency play a critical role in tackling the climate emergency.

And it’s true; around a fifth of Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions come from heating our homes and workplaces, and heating accounts for more than 50% of a household’s annual energy bill.

Making homes more energy efficient will not only reduce household’s energy bills and make our homes warmer but together we can also help to meet the Scottish Government’s net zero targets.

That old phrase about fixing the roof while the sun is shining has never been more relevant. The practical advice and incentives offered by Home Energy Scotland will not only see benefits in the short term but will lead to further savings and environmental benefits in the years to come.

To get free advice and find out exactly what you are eligible for call the Scottish Government’s Home Energy Scotland hotline on 0808 808 2282 or go to

Harry Mayers is Head of Home Energy Scotland