More than 1,400 households have received help from North Ayrshire Council to cope with soaring energy bills, the authority says.

The council launched its £2.176 million Energy Smart programme late last year which offers a wide range of support, from practical advice to providing direct financial support with rising energy bills to installation of energy efficiency measures within properties.

Some £450,000 of the fund was set aside to ease the pressure caused by increasing bills by providing emergency support payments.

A total of 1,455 households to date have been helped with these emergency payments in the space of just a few months since its launch late last year.

Letters have also been issued to hundreds of eligible properties to offer free top-up loft insulation as part of the Energy Smart programme, with further measures to be introduced in the coming months.

Councillor Tony Gurney, NAC's cabinet member for economy and climate change, encouraged people to check if they are eligible to receive financial support.

He said: “The Energy Smart programme has been a vital part of our wide menu of cost-of-living supports.

"The Energy Smart Emergency Support Fund has made a real difference to more than 1,400 households over the cold winter months.

“For many, this might have been the difference between trying to get through the coldest days without any heating at all or being able to keep their families warm.

“The good news is that funds are still available for those struggling to pay their energy bills and the recent decision to potentially top up the fund means more families could benefit.

“Many people may not realise they will be in a position to apply, so I would urge them to get in touch – there’s nothing to lose.”

“We will also be continuing to offer a range of free energy efficiency measures in privately owned and rented homes, and have already been in touch with a number of eligible households.”

To apply for an Emergency Support payment, you can call 01294 310000 or complete an online form at

In addition, energy efficiency and low carbon behaviour advice is available through the Home Energy Scotland Helpline.

Anyone requiring energy advice is encouraged to call Home Energy Scotland South West free on 0808 808 2282.

The council website also has a wide range of advice on energy, benefits, food and clothing, health and wellbeing and a section dedicated to our business community at