Government action to address fuel poverty
Councils have been awarded the funding to pilot new and innovative approaches to drive down energy bills and tackle climate change.
Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme (SEEP) Pathfinder Fund is being directed at businesses, community groups and individuals working and living in areas with particularly high levels of fuel poverty.
These pilots will help shape the wider work that will be delivered when SEEP is rolled out further from 2018.
Edinburgh receives over £1 million in SEEP funding to support energy efficiency measures for 750 properties in Leith, insulation of Duncan House Resource Centre and building energy management system upgrades for council-owned non-domestic buildings in Leith.
Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities Angela Constance announced the funding on a visit to meet Margaret Wilson, a West Lothian householder who has already seen her fuel bills reduced thanks to the installation of Scottish Government-funded energy efficiency measures. Ms Constance also visited Lanthorn Community Centre and met with a local mum and toddler group to talk to them about what measures they can take to help make their homes easier to heat this winter.
She said: “Since 2008 over one million energy efficiency measures have been installed in almost one million households across Scotland which has helped make homes warmer and easier to heat. The Scottish Government will continue to prioritise tackling fuel poverty and remains committed to helping those most in need.
“These SEEP pilot projects will build on our existing support for households and also improve the energy efficiency of community centres, charities, businesses and commercial properties.
“Tackling fuel poverty is a priority for us, but we need to be creative if we want to make a real lasting difference. I look forward to seeing how councils can bring their innovative ideas to life to reduce energy bills and tackle fuel poverty in their communities.”
Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy Paul Wheelhouse said: “By taking a coordinated approach to improving buildings across the commercial, public and industrial sectors we are not only boosting the economy but will be able to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions which will help us meet our ambitious climate change targets.
“This is part of our overall investment of over £1 billion by 2021 in energy efficiency which aims to make homes and buildings warmer, improve health outcomes and create a supply chain across all of Scotland which will support around 4,000 jobs a year once the programme is fully operational.”
Margaret Wilson, from Livingston, West Lothian, has already benefitted from Scottish Government funded fuel efficiency measures. She said: “We are delighted with the work carried out and we’re already feeling the benefits of having a warmer home. With winter not far off, it will make a huge difference to us to have the peace of mind that our home is more energy efficient and we can afford to have the heating on a bit longer without worrying as much about when the bill comes in.
“Everyone we dealt with was so helpful and everything went smoothly – we’d definitely recommend that other people apply and have the same experience that we did.”