An SNP Holyrood MP has called on the other Big Six British energy suppliers to to follow Scottish Power’s example and to set up a scheme that allows customers who are referred to foodbanks to gain fuel assistance.
Scottish Power’s scheme offers Quick Credit Vouchers for domestic energy use, meaning that those who rely on foodbanks are also able to gain support to heat their homes through the pilot project being run at Hamilton District Foodbank and other sites across Scotland.
The trial has given out 164 vouchers since it was launched – helping to tackle fuel poverty in deprived communities.
MSP Christina McKelvie last night urged other Big Six suppliers – including E.ON, Scottish Gas, EDF and Scottish & Southern Energy – to launch similar schemes in order to bolster efforts to fight fuel poverty.
German-owned N-power already operatoes a similar service through its Fuel Bank.
Speaking in a non-legislative private-members’ debate at Holyrood, she said: “This pilot project has been a lifeline for my constituents in Hamilton and has huge potential across the country – making sure those in the most deprived communities have been able to heat their homes this winter. The fact that 80 vouchers have been given out across my constituency alone since the trial started shows how important this scheme is.
“I have since had several positive meetings and I will continue to work with these energy firms to help extend the QCV support to more of my constituents, and people across the country, who need extra help with paying their energy bills.
“Scottish Power’s scheme has been a real success in my constituency and in other parts of the country where it is being piloted – and it’s time for other energy firms to follow their lead and help support vulnerable and deprived customers.”
21 Feb 2018