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Supporting disabled people struggling to keep up with rising energy costs

My name is Charlotte, and I’m the Team Leader for Scope’s Disability Energy Support service.

The service provides free energy and water advice to disabled people, helping them to manage their energy and water needs. Our expert advisers can help and talk people through a wide range of topics like:

  • managing debt
  • switching suppliers
  • changing a meter and much more 

We are partnered with some incredible organisations who enable us to provide our customers with fuel vouchers, gas safety devices and efficiency measures such as insulation, central heating installation and replacement white goods. 

Why we developed the Disability Energy Support service 

Life costs more for disabled people and their families, spending more on essential goods and services like; heating, insurance, equipment, and therapies. These extra costs mean disabled people have less money in their pocket than non-disabled people, or simply go without. 

Disabled people often face higher costs for their gas and electricity. Many disabled people say they need more heating to stay warm, yet others say they have to use extra electricity to charge up items of assistive technology. 
 
With rising energy costs alongside suppliers going out of business, this has caused concern and uncertainty. We are seeing the majority of our customers getting in touch with us to query whether they are entitled to any benefits, grants, or trusts to help them pay their bill. 

Although disability specific tariffs are not available within the energy sector, the Disability Energy Support team are committed to supporting our customers to maximise their income as much as possible. Helping them to manage their energy costs at this time.  

The needs of customers coming to the service 

When completing the online application form for Disability Energy support, we ask customers what topics they would like to discuss with their energy adviser. They’re able to pick multiple topics. 

Just over half of applicants have wanted to enquire about applications for energy and water benefits, grants, and trusts. Just under a quarter wanted to discuss energy debt and water and energy efficiency. 

We’ve been told about people not being able to afford to put their heating on, and generally struggling to keep up with rising fuel costs. Some have told us that their equipment is using more energy than regular households, but suppliers have not been able to do anything to help. This is where myself and our team of experts have been looking to offer support and advice. 

How to apply and what to expect 

The service is open to any disabled person or households in England or Wales where 1 or more disabled people live. Appointments can last up to 45 minutes, and during this appointment you will get information and advice specific to your needs. Your adviser will arrange any follow up appointments, if needed.

Find more information about Disability Energy Support.
 
We are currently fully booked for telephone appointments up until the middle of January 2022. You can still book telephone appointments for next year and new appointments are released each week. 
 
If you’re unable to wait for an appointment, you can get in touch by calling us on 0808 801 0828 or email Disability.EnergySupport@Scope.org.uk. Or read our energy saving tips.

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