Half of Scots haven't made an energy payment since lockdown, despite being concerned that their usage has increased
Half of Scots have not received an energy bill since lockdown began, new research has revealed.
A report published this week by Home Energy Scotland shows that most Scots are worried about their energy bills going up, but have not given their supplier a meter reading since before going into lockdown.
Over half of those surveyed in June 2020 by Home Energy Scotland, the Scottish Government’s free and impartial energy advice service, said they had not had a bill recently so could not say whether their bills had gone up or not.
But bills had already risen for over 36% of respondents, and 55% were certain their energy use had increased during lockdown.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to keep many workers at home, concerns are growing about the impact on household energy bills - 58% of people said they were concerned about their energy bills rising, either now or in the future.
Harry Mayers, head of Home Energy Scotland, said it’s clear that people should act sooner rather than later to avoid a steep jump in payments later in the year.
He said: “I would urge all householders to take a meter reading as soon as possible and send it to your supplier to get your payments adjusted if need be. Taking action could mean a small increase now but that’s easier to manage than a sharp increase this winter.
“If you’re on a prepayment meter you’re likely to be topping up more often – if that’s causing you difficulties Home Energy Scotland can offer support. We can help check whether you’re eligible for a crisis payment, or even a grant or loan to help fit better heating and insulation ready for next winter.”
Home Energy Scotland, which has saved Scottish households over £1 billion on their energy bills since 2008, has remained open to help customers throughout lockdown.
Minister for housing Kevin Stewart said: “We recognise many people are facing financial hardship during this crisis, and they might be worried about paying their energy bills, however there is lots of support available to help.
“Energy providers have put emergency measures in place to ensure people affected by Covid-19. I would encourage anyone with concerns to speak to Home Energy Scotland who can offer free advice on the range of help available.”
For advice and tips on how to take a meter reading, as well as ways to reduce bills and save energy and money, visit Homeenergyscotland.org or call free on 0808 808 2282 to speak to an advisor.