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Save money on your gas and electricity

This advice applies to Scotland

If you’re struggling to pay for your gas or electricity, or just want to spend less, there are some steps you can take to reduce what you pay.

Check if you’re getting the best energy deal

You could save money on your gas or electricity by changing your energy tariff or supplier.

At the end of a fixed-term, it’s a good idea to check which tariffs and suppliers can offer you a better deal. If you don’t do anything, your current supplier might move you to their ‘standard tariff’ - this is usually more expensive than other available tariffs.

You can use our price comparison service to compare energy prices from all the UK energy suppliers.

If you have a prepayment meter

You can usually still switch suppliers to save money if you have a prepayment meter. The exception is if you owe more than £500 for gas or £500 for electricity.

You could also save money by replacing your prepayment meter with one that lets you pay after using energy rather than in advance. As well as getting lower prices, you won’t have to worry about running out of credit.

Most suppliers won’t charge you for removing a prepayment meter, though many will run a credit check or ask you for a deposit.

Get help to pay your bills

You might be eligible for help with energy bills, particularly if you’re elderly, disabled, on a low income or in debt to your supplier.

Try to use less energy

You can easily start to use less energy by:

You’ll find it easier to reduce your bills if you keep track of how much energy you’re using.

You can also look at your most recent energy bill to see how much energy you consumed in the period the bill covers. You can then compare it to the previous bill you received. 

If you’ve been with your supplier for more than a year they might send you an annual statement. This will show how much energy you used in the past year, compared to the year before.

Another option is to buy an energy monitor. This is an electrical device that tells you how much energy you’re using. You might also be able to borrow one from your local council or library - contact them to find out if this is possible.

Get a smart meter

A smart meter is a new type of energy meter that will eventually be introduced in homes throughout the UK.

It has a digital display that lets you keep track of how much energy you’re using, which will help you use less. It can also send data about your usage to your energy supplier to make sure you get accurate energy bills.

Find out more about getting a smart meter.

Make your home more energy-efficient

If you live in a rented property, you'll need to get your landlord's permission before agreeing to any major energy efficiency improvements. Your landlord can't refuse reasonable requests for improvements, as long as you can find funding for them. This is because of provisions in the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006.

To make sure you make the right changes to your property, you can use the resources on the Energy Saving Trust Scotland’s website, for example:

If you get work done, try to find a trustworthy trader.

Getting help from your energy supplier

Your energy supplier might be able to offer you a grant to make improvements, for example through the Energy Company Obligation. This could include insulation or a replacement boiler. What you can get depends on your circumstances and what would help your home.

Speak to your supplier to see if they offer a scheme. You can also call the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0808 808 2282. They can advise you on schemes by other energy suppliers, not just your own.  

Further help

Read our guidance if you can’t afford to pay your bills or you’re in debt to your supplier. 

Get advice from Home Energy Scotland

You can get help and advice on saving money on your bills from Home Energy Scotland. This service is free and impartial, for anyone who wants advice on making their home warmer and their bills more affordable. 

If you need extra support, for example because someone in your household is disabled, their Energycarers team can do home visits.

Telephone: 0808 808 2282, Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm

Calls to this number are free.

Alternatively, you can use their online contact form.

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