Advisors Toolkit

The Advisors Toolkit has been developed to provide a wide range of easily-accessible, practical information relating to fuel poverty and energy efficiency.  The Toolkit is aimed primarily at supporting frontline advisors from various fields whose clients include the vulnerable and/or those in fuel poverty.

The Toolkit will be further developed over time, building on relevant policy and legislation as well as the experience and knowledge generated by work colleagues, member organisations and feedback from the frontline advisors using the Toolkit.

If you print this resource and use it offline please check back regularly to see if there are any updates. If you regularly monitor the Toolkit and wish to know what factsheets have been updated a list of these can be found Website Changes

+ Chapter 1 - Ways to Save Money

This chapter of the Advisors Toolkit looks at ways to save money. It goes into detail about energy billing and various methods of payment, how to read both electricity and gas meters and looks also at other types of meters. This chapter also gives examples of tariffs and how to understand them. It talks about switching and how to move through the process of how to switch. There is a good amount of information on smart meters. There is some information on renewables and their benefit of reducing the amount of energy used so as to save money. Last of all, there is a selection of hints and tips on how to save energy in the home and thus save money.

Full Chapter 1 Download
+ Chapter 2 - Paying for Energy

This chapter of the Advisors Toolkit looks at the subject of Paying for Energy. It sets out how to understand fuel bills by describing the different elements and explains some of the terms used. It also looks at the different payment methods used for paying for energy such as direct debit, standing order, quarterly billing, prepayment meters, regular payment schemes and Fuel Direct and explains the advantages and disadvantages of each. Finally the chapter has suggestions of what to do if struggling with fuel bills.

This set of links below are the individual factsheets under Chapter II: Paying for Energy.

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+ Chapter 3 - Insulation and Other Physical Measures

This section of the Toolkit describes the different kinds of insulation and other physical measures which save energy. It gives information and tips about how to get draughtproofing, tank and pipe insulation, loft insulation, cavity wall insulation, solid wall insulation – both external and internal.

This set of links below are the individual factsheets under Chapter III: Insulation and Other Physical Measures

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+ Chapter 4 - Sources of Help and Funding

Government Schemes and Programmes – Files A-F

This section is split into two parts – Government Schemes and Programmes in Scotland and those which are GB-wide. The Scottish Government schemes listed are the Home Energy Efficiency Programmes for Scotland (HEEPS), Loans and Warmer Homes Scotland and other governmental schemes. The GB schemes covered in this section include Feed-in-tariffs, the Renewable Heat Incentive, Energy Performance Certificates and the Warm Homes Discount scheme.

Help from Energy Suppliers/Distributors

This section covers the help that is available from energy suppliers and distributors. This help can be in the form of the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO), the Priority Services Registers, various funds/foundations and trusts, the Help to Heat scheme and a page of additional support for advisors.

Other Sources of Help and Advice

This section looks at other sources of help and advice, such as the Citizens Advice Bureau and Citizens Advice Scotland, Home Energy Scotland and many others with contact numbers and websites as well as detail about the organisation.

+ Chapter 5 - Maximising Income

This chapter is about maximising income. It lists the official sources for accessing help with income such as the Department for Work and Pensions as well as links to other organisations which can help with advice and information on the benefits system. It also looks at additional payments that can help with heating costs such as the Winter Fuel Payment and Cold Weather Payments.

This set of links below are the individual factsheets under this section of Chapter V: Maximising Income

Full Chapter
+ Chapter 6 - Renewables
This chapter of the Toolkit looks at the different renewable technologies available, what they are good for, information about planning permission and specific information about the various types. These factsheets cover solar PV, solar thermal, wind turbines, ground source heat pumps, air source heat pumps, water source heat pumps, micro combined heat and power, biomass and micro hydro.

This set of links below are the individual factsheets in Chapter VI: Renewables.

Full Chapter
+ Chapter 7 - Adequate Heating and Health

This chapter of the Toolkit looks at the impact that cold temperatures have on health such as increased winter mortality or excess winter deaths, the link between asthma and cold homes and how getting the right temperature can lead to better health. It investigates condensation and dampness and how to deal with mould.

This set of links below are the individual factsheets in Chapter VII: Adequate Heating and Health.

Full Chapter