Our Energy Support Advisors provide free energy advice for fuel poor households in Orkney. More information on our service is shown below.
If you would like to energy support click below to fill in a referral form.
If you are struggling with high bills or problems with your supplier, we can help. Although we also can struggle with supplier inaction, our relationships with multiple suppliers can typically find alternative routes to solutions prior to an ombudsman complaint.
It can be difficult to know which tariff or type of meter would be best for your property. We can talk you through the options and suggest what might be most cost effective for your property.
If your energy bills have become unmanageable, we will try our best to find support to make them manageable again. This can include accesing funds for energy debt and ongoing costs as well as working with Citizen’s advice on income maximisation.
The best way to save money on your energy bills is often to reduce your usage by removing drafts and water ingress as well as increasing insulation levels. We can help you to find out if you are eligible for grants and loans, as well as offering methods to assess your property and access upgrades.
We know that there are many barriers to accessing support. As required, we try to help our clients find alternative routes to support.
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The official definition of fuel poverty is that a household is on a low income and would need to spend more than 10% of their income (after tax) to adequately heat their home. Extreme fuel poverty is where a household is spending more than 20% of their income on fuel.
The threshold for low income depends upon the size of household but in 2023 was about £14k/year for a single person up to £29k/year for a couple with 2 children.
It should also be noted that fuel poverty is not only caused by the headline issues of inefficient housing, high energy costs and lack of access to energy efficiency upgrades. It is very often connected to low income or other wider issues such as household breakdown, domestic abuse, insufficient caring or disability support or other 'poverties' (such as digital, food, transport etc.). Fuel poverty is therefore a multi-faceted issue that requires a partnership approach to understand and tackle.
If you are a resident of Orkney and require energy support, even if you are not officially fuel poor, we are always happy to point you in the right direction. We find that people are often eligible for support even if they think they are earning too much or feel they usually fall through the gaps.
We provide greater support to those who are struggling the most, so will often require information on income and expenditure to provide more in-depth support. We may also ask for other personal information in order to improve likelihood of access to grant funds and other support. We also offer home visits to many clients to ensure we are giving the best advice for your property and heating systems.
THAW provide a confidential and non-judgemental service. We always plan our support based upon what our clients need and ask for consent to share any information with partners.
We are therefore happy to support clients that prefer to keep their details private or find social situations difficult; just let our Energy Support Advisors know if at any point you are uncomfortable or do not wish to answer a question and we will try our best to help. We can then guide you to know what information would be required to access different levels of support, meaning you only need to divulge what is required.
Sometimes. We cannot guarantee that you will be eligible for national schemes, local schemes or local grants, but we can advise on what is available.
Most people can access some kind of support across various types of tenure, even if it is just an interest-free loan, so it is always best to check. Social housing upgrade funding goes directly to social landlords and therefore social tenants are not eligible for national grant funding, but we will still try to support clients to understand what could be improved and advocate for changes.
Note, however, that there are currently few options available for property repair, including replacing doors, double-glazed windows or renovation work. Most funds are for replacing older heating systems or upgrading insulation and will depend upon eligibility as well as your property being at a tolerable standard. However, we are working to fill some of these gaps, so do contact us to see if there is any support available.