Scottish Government scheme targets fuel poverty

Scottish Government scheme targets fuel poverty

Up to 28,000 fuel poor households will benefit from a £224 million Scottish Government energy efficiency project launching this September.

The nationwide scheme will install insulation, heating and low carbon or renewable measures in the homes of fuel poor households, with a wider range of options for people living off the main gas grid including solar thermal and biomass systems.

The scheme will encompass all the measures that were available under the Energy Assistance Scheme, which ended in March 2015, and include new measures like flat/pitched roof insulation, glazing and hybrid wall insulation. It is set to run for seven years.

Margaret Burgess, the Scottish Government’s housing minister, said: “This new scheme will give vulnerable households living in fuel poverty access to even more measures to make their homes energy efficient. These will be tailored to meet their needs to stop them from paying unnecessarily high fuel bills.

“By making sure people in the islands and in more rural parts of the country, have the same chances to make their homes, warmer, cheaper and easier to heat, we are tackling the inequalities that exist in our country.”

The scheme is being delivered by Warmworks Scotland, a joint venture between Changeworks, the Energy Saving Trust and Everwarm, part of the Lakehouse plc.

Mike Thornton, Energy Saving Trust director of government services, said: “This will give people living in fuel poverty really practical support. The initiative provides a more integrated step-by-step service to customers, from the initial referral through to the installation and beyond.

“Each customer will receive their own personal adviser and be supported through any complex issue or challenge they may face. This project will continue to help improve the lives of people in Scotland by making their homes warmer and more comfortable.”

Teresa Bray, Changeworks chief executive, said: “We believe the successful approach for a fuel poverty project of this scale demands an alternative delivery model. We’ve bonded the skills and expertise of two leading social enterprises with the private sector to deliver a high quality public service to tackle fuel poverty. This delivery model offers new opportunities to provide effective and efficient services to help struggling households in rural and urban Scotland.”

Michael McMahon, Everwarm managing director, added: “This partnership brings together stable funding, the strongest policy expertise and on-the-ground practical support to take a new approach to energy efficiency.

“We have a successful track record of designing and installing a range of energy efficiency measures and experience of delivering on a national scale. Over the next five years, we will be harnessing major Government investment to install improvements in thousands of homes in Scotland. This is an important step in addressing fuel poverty and helping residents understand the opportunities of energy efficiency and access support.”

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