Government allocates over £9m of SEEP funding to help alleviate fuel poverty

fuel povertyHomes and businesses across 11 local authority areas are to receive a share of over £9 million of Scottish Government funding to pilot new and innovative approaches to drive down energy bills and tackle climate change.

Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme (SEEP) Pathfinder Fund is being directed at businesses, community groups and individuals working and living in areas with particularly high levels of fuel poverty.

These pilots will help shape the wider work that will be delivered when SEEP is rolled out further from 2018.

Announcing the funding, Cabinet secretary for communities, social security and equalities, Angela Constance, said: “Since 2008 over one million energy efficiency measures have been installed in almost one million households across Scotland which has helped make homes warmer and easier to heat.

“The Scottish Government will continue to prioritise tackling fuel poverty and remains committed to helping those most in need.

These SEEP pilot projects will build on our existing support for households and also improve the energy efficiency of community centres, charities, businesses and commercial properties.

“Tackling fuel poverty is a priority for us, but we need to be creative if we want to make a real lasting difference. I look forward to seeing how councils can bring their innovative ideas to life to reduce energy bills and tackle fuel poverty in their communities.”

Minister for business, innovation and energy, Paul Wheelhouse, added: “By taking a coordinated approach to improving buildings across the commercial, public and industrial sectors we are not only boosting the economy but will be able to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions which will help us meet our ambitious climate change targets.

“This is part of our overall investment of over £1 billion by 2021 in energy efficiency which aims to make homes and buildings warmer, improve health outcomes and create a supply chain across all of Scotland which will support around 4,000 jobs a year once the programme is fully operational.”

The funding has been welcomed by Citizens Advice Scotland but the Scottish Greens said the announcement lacks ambition.

CAS energy spokesman Craig Salter said: “Far too many households across Scotland cannot afford to heat their homes – at present around 35 per cent of households are in fuel poverty. This funding is therefore very welcome, and it is encouraging to see the Scottish Government taking action.

“Improving energy efficiency is a fundamental aspect of addressing fuel poverty, and finding innovative, collaborative approaches at a local level is essential. As SEEP is rolled out, it is important to ensure that support reaches the areas that need it the most, including remote rural communities, and that measures fit the needs of those areas.

“This is a positive step, but there is still a lot of work to be done to eradicate fuel poverty, and improving energy efficiency must go hand-in-hand with efforts to reduce the cost of energy and increase household incomes.”

Mark Ruskell MSP, climate & energy spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, said: “While every energy efficiency project will make a real difference, the scale of ambition we’re seeing from the Scottish Government simply isn’t good enough. £8m is a drop in the ocean compared to what we could be doing by addressing Scotland’s cold and expensive to heat homes street by street.

“In the last Scottish budget ministers cut funding for fuel poverty measures, and although they agree with the Greens that energy efficient housing should be a national infrastructure priority they have yet to allocate the appropriate funds. The time for pilot projects is long past. We need to be scaling this work up immediately to tackle the scourge of fuel poverty, create good jobs and cut our climate emissions.”

A total of £14m was made available for SEEP projects, with £9.1m of funding being allocated to successful applicants, and the remaining funding being allocated to other energy efficiency projects across Scotland.

Funding breakdown:




Aberdeen City


Install overcladding, with an insulated rainscreen, at seven multi-storey blocks (containing 781 households) already connected to the existing district heating network and extend existing CHP District



Installation of energy efficiency measures to social and private housing. Infrastructure for biomass combined heat and power district heating system and insulation of various commercial buildings.

City of Edinburgh

£1, 027, 774

Energy efficiency measures for 397 owners and 341 social landlord properties in Leith. Insulation of council owned Duncan House Resource Centre; building energy management system upgrades for council-owned non-domestic buildings in Leith.

East Lothian


Energy efficiency measures for 467 households. School and council owned building to receive Biomass system and limited energy efficiency measures, cavity wall insulation to be provided to hard to treat cavities in a business.



External Wall Insulation and any other low cost measures required for 149 privately owned and 46 council properties in the Dunfermline and Rosyth area. Installation of energy efficiency measures in 3 schools and sheltered housing in Dunfermline and council owned commercial units. Part funding to extend and connect the current Guardbridge biomass district heating system.

Glasgow City

£620, 400

Range of external wall insulation measures and connections from homes to proposed new District Heating scheme plus connecting nursery to existing scheme. Range of insulation measures for two council-owned commercial properties, charity commercial property new heating system and insulation to be installed in two other nurseries.



External wall Insulation and any other low cost measures for 76 privately owned and 35 council properties in the Ladywood area.

Range of energy efficiency measures for Penicuik Town Hall and Penicuik High Pavilion.



Insulation in 30 privately owned properties currently connected to the Lerwick District Heating System plus, where necessary, the replacement of old inefficient heat exchangers and the installation of adequate controls to better operate radiators or heating systems. Installation of energy demand reduction measures in 10 non-domestic properties. Trial of solar PV panels as a supplement to district heating in a care home.

South Lanarkshire


External Wall Insulation to 232 Owners and 163 council properties in Law, Hamilton, Forth and East Kilbride. A series of retro fitted carbon reducing technologies in an existing combined warehouse and office building; replacement of existing internal lighting with LED lighting in three NHS buildings and nearby council HQ.



Installation of external wall Insulation in commercial units and library in Bannockburn. Installation of biomass boiler in church hall and chapel house in Bannockburn. Range of measures installed in buildings in Deanston and Fintry.

West Lothian


External Wall Insulation for 39 owners, 4 council properties and external wall insulation and roof improvements for a community centre.


£8, 210368

In addition, nearly £900,000 of loan funding is being made available to councils.

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