‘Big six’ energy firms urged to extend quick credit scheme to tackle fuel poverty

Christina McKelvie MSP

An MSP is calling on Scotland’s biggest energy providers to work with foodbanks to extend a Quick Credit Voucher scheme to tackle fuel poverty.

The voucher scheme offers a one-off £49 credit voucher to help people heat their homes, and cook meals — with many of those reliant on foodbanks also at risk of fuel poverty.

The SNP’s Christina McKelvie, working alongside local councillor Julia Marrs, secured the support of Scottish Power in piloting the project at the Hamilton and Clydesdale foodbanks in her constituency.

Ms McKelvie has now written to the CEOs of E.ON, British Gas, EDF, SSE and Npower, asking for them to meet with her to discuss how the pilot scheme is already working in practice and whether they might add their support to extending availability across all energy providers.

Christina McKelvie MSP said: “This started out as a local campaign but has the potential to change the way we support those facing the uncertainty of fuel poverty across Scotland.

“I’m delighted to already have the support from Scottish Power for the voucher scheme, and I’m really interested to see whether the other big energy providers will now come on board.

“In an ideal world we wouldn’t need such measures at all. In an energy-rich nation like Scotland we should all be able to heat our homes and cook for our families at fair and competitive rates and everyone should have the means to do that.

“But the reality is that more and more people across Scotland are being driven into fuel poverty by relentless austerity of the Tory government at Westminster.

“Nobody should be freezing in the dark at this time of year, and I’m extremely hopeful that the rest of the Big Six recognise the benefits of backing Quick Credit Vouchers in conjunction with local foodbanks.

“I look forward to further discussions with the energy sector about how they can play a responsible and supportive role in helping hard pressed families to heat their homes across Scotland this winter and in the future.”