We’ve interviewed our colleague @MarkF and asked him to answer some questions about the Hardship Fund, which was set up 3 years ago to help customers struggling to pay their energy bills due to low income or other circumstances.
So Mark, we’d firstly like to know how the Hardship Fund work’s? Eilidh, it helps the receiver of the grant get their energy payments under control, by either clearing or reducing arrears by crediting their ScottishPower energy account and allowing them to manage their ongoing payments.
Who is eligible to apply to the Hardship Fund? You can apply if you are or were recently a ScottishPower customer, earn a low income or are on benefits, and are in arrears.
What is involved in the application process? The customer applies to our independent administrator who decides for us. It can be online or by the telephone. They will ask for supporting material and ensure that the customer has budgeting advice. When they pass the application to us we will then call and make sure the customer is on the best tariff and plan for them, and then apply the award.
How long does the application process take, and when will the applicant find out if they have been successful? The application can take a few weeks, depending on what the circumstances are, but it is largely customer driven. The administrator will liaise and let the customer know if they have been successful.