Scots households living in fuel poverty will benefit from a £60 million fund to make their homes warmer, more environmentally friendly and cheaper to heat, Housing Minister Margaret Burgess, MSP, has announced today.
Burgess revealed the investment, which will be delivered through the Home Energy Efficiency Programme for Scotland (HEEPS), on a visit to Annbank in South Ayrshire, where she met residents whose homes have been improved thanks to the programme.
The investment, which is targeted at fuel poor households across Scotland, will be used for the installation of energy efficiency measures such as solid wall, cavity and loft insulation.
Around £42 million will be split between the 32 councils while the remaining £18 million will be made available to local authorities to develop larger scale schemes (See ‘Who Gets What’ – below)
Housing Minister Burgess said: “This £60 million investment will help households in fuel poor areas stay warm and reduce their energy bills. In total, the Scottish Government will spend almost a quarter of a billion pounds over a three year period on fuel poverty and energy efficiency.
“Rising energy bills remain a huge concern for this government. Today’s funding will see thousands of homes across Scotland receive new measures like solid wall insulation and help to drive down the number of people living in fuel poverty.
“This funding will be distributed across all of Scotland’s local authorities, including our rural and island areas and will include specific provision for households in rural areas currently finding it difficult to access the measures.
“The investment will also support and sustain the insulation industry in Scotland, generating work and supporting jobs.
“We are doing everything we can within our limited powers to provide a wide range of energy efficiency measures to individual households and to local authorities, but only with the full powers of independence can we fully tackle all the causes of fuel poverty.
“We made our position clear about how ECO and Warm Homes Discount would be funded in an independent Scotland. These costs would be met by central resources. Based on current arrangements this would reduce energy bills by around 5% – or around £70 per year.”
Annbank resident Ginny McDermott had solid wall insulation installed at her house last month through the HEEPS scheme and would encourage others to do the same. She said:
“In just one month we have found the solid wall insulation has made it easier for us to heat our home, we have been able to turn down our radiators and – more importantly – it’s cut down on our fuel bills. It has made a big, big difference to us, and it has even improved the look of the building.”
Councillor John McDowall, Chairman of the Energy Agency of South Ayrshire Council, said: “Since the introduction of the Government’s energy efficiency home insulation programmes in 2010, work has been carried out to 3,352 homes across South Ayrshire helping our residents reduce the amount of energy needed to heat their houses, and reduce their energy costs.
“For some of our most vulnerable residents, it means they are less likely to face fuel poverty and will enjoy warmer, more comfortable homes – and that’s a great result.”
For more information: contact the Scottish Government’ s Home Energy Scotland hotline on 0808 808 2282 or www.homeenergyscotland.org
Who gets what – Local Authority HEEPS funding 2014/2015
The funding is being delivered through the Scottish Government’s Home Energy Efficiency Programme for Scotland (HEEPS), which was formerly known as the National Retrofit Programme.
The properties in Annbank had external wall insulation installed through the 2013/2014 allocation of HEEPS funding.
HEEPS schemes will continue to deliver a blend of energy efficiency measures including solid wall, loft and cavity wall insulation.
Local authorities will be expected to target areas of fuel poverty and work with Housing Associations, energy companies, installers, owner-occupiers and private rented landlords to ensure all households in that area receive an offer to have the energy efficiency of their home improved.
Aberdeen City £1,682,828
Argyll and Bute £1,393,112
Dumfries and Galloway £1,546,257
East Ayrshire £1,045,470
East Dunbartonshire £608,538
East Lothian £679,500
East Renfrewshire £459,054
Eilean Siar £1,530,659
North Ayrshire £1,234,615
North Lanarkshire £1,804,733
Orkney Islands £1,343,167
Perth and Kinross £1,194,614
Shetland Islands £812,522
South Ayrshire £928,194
South Lanarkshire £1,670,113
West Dunbartonshire £736,671
West Lothian £1,082,475