Scotland announces £200m to combat fuel poverty
The Scottish Government has announced a £200 million programme to improve the energy efficiency of older homes.
Ministers hope to work with energy companies to identify £200 million each year to help homes in fuel poverty to save money and become more fuel efficient by providing a range of free or discounted heating and home insulation measures.
The ambitions outlined are dependent upon Scotland receiving at least a pro-rata share of obligations on energy companies to help reduce carbon emissions and assist vulnerable customers. A pro-rata share of the £1.3 billion a year energy company obligation would equate to investment of £120 million each year in Scotland.
The measures come after the Fuel Poverty Forum - made up of charities and organisations that advise ministers on fuel poverty - published a report identifying the problems in Scottish Homes. The Scottish Government have pledged to end fuel poverty in the country by November 2016.
Alex Neil, cabinet secretary for infrastructure and capital investment, said: ‘Scotland is an energy rich nation and it is simply unacceptable that rising bills mean that some people are struggling to heat their homes.’
David Stewart, policy manager at the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, said: ‘We welcome the announcement that the majority of Scottish Government funding will go into supporting a national retrofit programme to improve the energy efficiency of existing homes.
‘We would stress both that the funding needs to be sufficient to improve Scotland’s housing, and that we believe it is necessary to set minimum energy efficiency standards for the private sector to cut fuel poverty in tenements and blocks in mixed ownership.’