Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on support, information, food and other essentials

Guidance on the help and support available to protect the wellbeing of people affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on support, information, food and other essentials
Home and energy

Home and energy

I don’t have a home or my home is unsafe

If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness, you can get help from the council.

If you need advice in an emergency, you can phone Shelter Scotland's free housing advice helpline on 0808 800 4444.

By law, councils must offer a minimum of advice, assistance and temporary accommodation to all homeless households and those at risk of homelessness. You can find out where to make your homeless application by phoning your council or looking on their website.

If you, or someone you know, is experiencing domestic abuse help is available, including information about accommodation options. Call Scotland’s Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0800 027 1234 or visit Safer.Scot.

Domestic abuse is a crime. Call 101 to report it or 999 in an emergency. As outlined in this guidance, the rules on staying at home do not prevent you from leaving your home to escape or keep yourself safe from domestic abuse. 

I can’t afford my energy bills

With people spending more time at home because of COVID-19, we realise many households are likely to use more energy leading to higher bills.

Your energy supplier may be able to help if you are struggling to afford your energy bills. All energy suppliers have signed up to an agreement to support customers in financial distress, although the nature of the assistance provided may vary between companies. Phone lines may be busy so you may wish to contact your supplier online, if you are able to.

Alternatively you can contact Home Energy Scotland for advice and assistance (telephone: 0808 808 2282). The Scottish Welfare Fund may also be able to help support you in the short term.

I can’t access top ups for my pre-payment meter

As above, only those who have been asked to shield or are self-isolating in line with guidance (due to suspected COVID-19 symptoms or household exposure) have been asked not to leave their homes. If you are able you should access electricity and gas top ups through your normal means.

Friends, family or neighbours may be able to offer support, such as topping up pre-pay cards on your behalf.

However, if you do not have access to support and are unable to top up your pre-pay meter in the usual way, you should in the first instance get in touch with your energy supplier. All energy suppliers have signed up to an agreement to ensure pre-payment customers remain supplied with energy. 

If you are still struggling you may also wish to contact your local authority for support, or seek advice from Home Energy Scotland (0808 808 2282).