A new fuel poverty scheme, backed by up to £224 million from the Scottish Government, will help as many as 28,000 Scots heat their homes, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said today.
Over the next seven years, Warmer Homes Scotland will install measures such as insulation, heating and domestic renewables in households identified as fuel poor.
People in rural and island areas will be offered the same service as those in easier to reach parts of Scotland.
The Home Energy Scotland campaign has also been launched to encourage Scots to call the hotline 0808 808 2282 and take advantage of the free help to reduce fuel bills.
It will provide advice on how to reduce heating bills and which of the home energy improvement schemes, including Warmer Homes Scotland, they are eligible for.
Speaking after visiting a toddlers’ and local pensioners’ group based at Glenboig Community Centre, Ms Sturgeon said: “Nothing is more important to me than responding to the real pressures that individuals and families across Scotland face.
“Through this scheme, the Scottish Government will deliver the best possible help to thousands of people who are blighted by fuel poverty, struggling to keep their homes warm and pay their energy bills.
“Warmer Homes Scotland is tailored to give vulnerable households living in fuel poverty access to measures to make their homes more energy efficient.
“Since 2009, we have allocated over half a billion pounds to make Scotland’s homes more energy efficient, which has helped over 700,000 households reduce their fuel bills.”
Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil said:
“Tackling inequality is at the heart of the Scottish Government’s commitment to creating a fairer country for all.
“Warmer Homes Scotland will help thousands of Scots on low incomes have homes that are easier and cheaper to heat.
“People living in our island and rural mainland communities will have the same chances to make their homes easier to heat as people living in urban areas.”
Mike Thornton, Energy Saving Trust, Director of Government Services, said: “This scheme helps householders who are struggling with their energy bills with really practical support, helping them right the way through the process from the time they call up through to when the work is done.
“Vulnerable householders will receive their own personal adviser and all customers will be supported through any complex issue or challenge they may face along the way.”