Midlothian Affordable Warmth

Changeworks and Penicuik Citizens Advice Bureau

Supporting Midlothian households to stay safe and warm at home

Our project at a glance

  • Strategic priority area: Targeting geographic communities most at risk of fuel poverty
  • Support target: 640 households over 12 months
  • Duration: April 2024 to March 2025
  • Investment: £100,351 over 12 months
  • Forecast SROI: £1.97

Why we’re working together

Nearly a third of Midlothian residents struggle to heat their homes affordably. Yet, there is currently no provision for fuel poverty advice support in the district, a service which is desperately needed.

We’re partnering with Scotland’s leading environmental charity Changeworks and Penicuik Citizens Advice Bureau to introduce a holistic fuel poverty support service at a local level, which will alleviate both the immediate effects and root causes of fuel poverty. 

Our new partnership builds on the previous support Changeworks and other partners have delivered in the area, providing energy advice and income maximisation support to help fuel poor households to live in a safe and warm home.

Project objectives

  • Providing Midlothian households with tailored one-to-one energy advice and advocacy 
  • Delivering one-to-one income maximisation advice and facilitating access to wider support to tackle fuel poverty  
  • Offering emergency fuel vouchers to households in energy crisis 
  • Raising awareness of carbon monoxide safety among Midlothian households 
  • Helping eligible households to sign up for the Priority Services Register 
Media library image
A Changeworks adviser sitting at a desk with two computer screens

How we’re working together

One-to-one energy advice  

Through one-to-one sessions with the Changeworks team, we’re able to provide personalised energy advice and advocacy to households facing fuel poverty. People will be supported to make the most of heating systems and access energy efficiency measures, as well as how to effectively manage energy bills and resolve debt issues. Midlothian residents can access this advice over the phone, through digital channels or at home visits, depending on their preference.  

One-to-one income maximisation support

Penicuik Citizens Advice Bureau is delivering one-to-one income maximisation advice to help tackle fuel poverty, tailored to the household’s individual circumstances. Trained advisers support Midlothian residents to apply for benefits and grants, reduce outgoings and improve financial management. Residents are also able to access wider support from Citizens Advice with issues including consumer issues, work-related problems and housing advice.

Community outreach

As part of our partnership, we’re delivering face-to-face outreach within Midlothian communities, engaging with vulnerable households in community settings such as Sure Start family centres and schools. This outreach activity will include hosting talks, attending events and engaging with partner networks around energy usage and fuel poverty.

How to get involved

Accessing support from Midlothian Affordable Warmth service

As one of our VCMA network partners, you can refer your clients to the Midlothian Affordable Warmth programme by completing Changeworks' online referral form
If you live in Midlothian and you’re struggling with your energy bills or need energy advice, you can speak to the Changeworks team for help by calling calling 0800 870 8800 or requesting a callback on the Changeworks website. The phone line is Monday to Friday, between 9am and 5pm.   

Becoming a Midlothian Affordable Warmth partner

You can find out more about working with these organisations on the Changeworks website and the Penicuik Citizens Advice Bureau website

Our relationship with SGN goes from strength to strength and their support not only enables money and energy advice to people unable to stay warm at home and to manage debt, but also to access emergency support and practical aids like blankets and curtains. We’re delighted be working with our partner Penicuik Citizens Advice Bureau again and know that together we can make a meaningful difference to people in Midlothian.

Morven Masterton

Head of Community Engagement and Energy Advice Services, Changeworks