Dundee’s Fuel Well 3 scheme reopens for new applications

Dundee's Fuel Well 3 scheme reopens for new applications

A scheme which has helped over 10,000 Dundee households facing fuel poverty with their energy costs has reopened to new applications.

So far the third phase of Fuel Well Dundee has funded just under £1 million to support people on a low income or who are already experiencing fuel poverty with energy costs.

It also provides a range of energy and debt advice, help with income maximisation and employability support.

Now the scheme is opening up to additional households who have not received a Fuel Well grant in the past 12 months.

John Alexander, leader of Dundee City Council, said: “Fuel Well Dundee is one of the key pillars of the city’s response to the cost of living crisis this winter. During these colder months, we know how challenging it is for people to heat their homes. Bills have risen massively, as have other household costs.

“This scheme has directly helped over 10,000 households struggling with their fuel bills in Dundee, and I’m pleased to see that it’s being opened up to even more.

“This crisis is impacting on everyone – young and old, individuals and families, people in or out of work. So if you are struggling then please get in touch and see if Fuel Well Dundee can help.”

Run by Dundee City Council, Scarf (Part of the Home Energy Scotland network) and Dundee Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB), the scheme reopened on Friday 10th February and will help:

  • Single people and couples without children, who will receive a £100 award; and
  • Households with children, who will receive a £150 award.

As well as the original focus on low-income families, this time there is a recognition that as the cost of living crisis continues to bite there is an opportunity to extend help to new families (both those in work or out of work) who fall into any of the categories below:

  • Spending 10% or more of their total household income on heating their home.
  • Struggling to deal with unmanageable debt alongside higher energy costs.
  • Dealing with a disability or long-term health condition that means they spend more money on heating their home.
  • Have seen their housing costs and energy costs rise to levels where they are having to take on long term debt or are in danger of missing rent or mortgage payments.

Full details of the revised eligibility and how to apply can be found on the council website.

As well as these direct payments, the scheme can help with short, medium and longer-term support from fuel advisers and welfare rights advisers. Information and assistance on how to apply for a Warm Home Discount application is also available.

Fuel Well advisers will also offer support in other areas of financial inclusion including energy advice, a benefits check and debt advice; where appropriate, consideration of referral for Discretionary Hardship Payments or to the council’s Hardship fund; and crisis grants and community care grants advice.

Councillor Alexander added: “When Fuel Well was introduced we were keen to make sure that it wasn’t just a short-term fix for people in immediate crisis, but that we could join up the expertise and resources of the council and its partners and bring that to bear to offer people a more permanent solution.

“In addition to providing direct financial help with energy bills, Fuel Well Dundee looks at a range of supports for people including how to maximise benefits. That alone has been worth an average of £700 a year to households, which is a significant sum.”

First launched in 2020, the Fuel Well Dundee Programme has supported people on a low income whether in or out of work, on reduced incomes as a result of Covid-19, or who are already experiencing fuel poverty.

In the latest round of Fuel Well Dundee, almost £1m has been distributed to around 10,200 low-income households since August 2022 in Dundee.

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