Vulnerable households across Scotland are to get help to improve the energy efficiency of their properties through the launch of a major new government fund.
Some £60 million has been made available by the Scottish government and the goal is for the money to be used by people to make their homes warmer, more environmentally friendly and cheaper to run.
Housing minister Margaret Burgess announced the programme earlier in the month on a visit to Ravenscraig, Kirkcaldy in Fife, where she met residents whose homes have been improved through upgrades such as external wall insulation.
She said: “It is a scandal that there should be any fuel poverty in an energy-rich nation like Scotland. This £60 million investment will be distributed across all of Scotland’s local authorities and 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.”
One innovation that may be available through the £60 million fund is Ecopods, which were recently installed by Queens Cross Housing Association in Woodside. Queens Cross chief executive Shona Stephen stated that over 500 Woodside households will benefit from warmer homes, on top of a reduction of up to 40 per cent in their heating and hot water bills.
She said: “Raising the energy efficiency of homes is the most sustainable way to tackle fuel poverty. Indications from comparison sites with Ecopod indicate that our tenants will see significant savings on their fuel bills.
But What About Heating Oil Users?
Councillor Judy Hamilton, executive spokesperson for housing and building services at Fife Council, explained £3 million is going to the local authority from central government, with a partnership formed with charity Changeworks to ensure the most vulnerable people benefit.
Heating oil users in rural parts of Scotland are expected to be among those to get help through the fund, as people cut off from the grid are typically more likely to be in fuel poverty.
Scotland’s energy sector is being heavily debated at the present time as the country prepares to go to the polls for a referendum on independence in September. While Scotland itself has lots of energy resources, there are concerns about what independence could mean for the UK’s energy policy as a whole. The referendum is set to take place on September 18th.
Energy secretary Ed Davey recently told BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme that the current single market for energy in the UK is more secure.
He said: “It keeps costs down and it will enable us to go green, to go low carbon. Split that up and all those benefits go.”
To find out more about the new fund:
STV look at the new energy efficiency measures: http://news.stv.tv/scotland/277905-new-60m-energy-efficiency-fund-to-help-scots-in-fuel-poverty/
Read more about the scheme with Click Green : http://www.clickgreen.org.uk/news/national-news/124746-scottish-government-announces-60m-energy-efficiency-programme.html