Help for Dundee households facing fuel poverty
Up to 11,000 Dundee households facing fuel poverty are set to receive a payment to help with their energy costs.
Fuel Well Dundee has funding totalling over £1 million available to support people on a low income or who are already experiencing fuel poverty, with energy costs as well as energy advice, income maximisation, debt advice and employability.
Fuel Well advisers are currently contacting people who have previously benefited from the scheme inviting them to make a further application.
Details of how new households can make a claim will be circulated later in September. Funding of £260,000 approved on 22nd August 2022 will support this phase, allowing new households to apply to Fuel Well Dundee 3.
John Alexander, leader of Dundee City Council, said: “We already know that the cost of living crisis is really starting to bite and with winter just around the corner and further hikes in fuel prices also on the horizon we need to help as many people as we can now.
“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.
“This third version of the scheme does that for those we have already helped and for new households who maybe haven’t had such support in the past.”
Run by Dundee City Council, SCARF (Part of the Home Energy Scotland network) and Dundee Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB), the scheme offers three different award rates:
- single pensioners in receipt of Council Tax reduction who will receive a £50 award;
- pensioner couples in receipt of Council Tax reduction who will receive a £100 award;
- existing Fuel Well Dundee 2 households who will receive a £100 award (up from £90 in 2021); and
- existing Fuel Well Dundee 2 households with children who will receive a £150 award.
As well as these payments the scheme can help with short, medium and longer-term support from fuel advisers and welfare rights advisers. Help with Warm Home Discount applications is also available when the scheme opens later in the year.
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.
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.
Last year almost £800,000 was distributed to around 8,800 low-income households during the winter months of lockdown in Dundee.