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|It’s an election issue in large swathes
of the UK – in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales in particular.
Fuel poverty is a worry for millions of vulnerable people.
This week, we’ve already seen the launch of an advertising campaign
in Edinburgh to encourage people to become more energy efficient and
help them cut their energy bills. It will include grants and an
“energy assistance package” helps people who find it hard to heat
According to Councillor Paul Edie, who’s in charge of the city’s
housing, “this campaign will alert people to what is on offer and
encourage them to actively seek out help. The grants available will
help reduce energy consumption and help to tackle fuel poverty.”
But it’s not just in the major centres of population where the
problem is most acute. Today, the ScottishPower Energy People Trust
handed over £100,000 to a project to deal with the problem in the
South West of Scotland.
The project’s run by the Energy Agency and will fund a scheme to
reach people who miss out on mainstream support. The initiative will
help to replace non-operational or inefficient domestic heating
systems for approximately 100 people. It will also tackle fuel
poverty by offering energy efficiency advice.
It’s the latest in a series of awards from the Trust which was
formed in November 2005. In total, it’s given over £7m to 148
projects helping over 824,000 individuals in over 620,000 households
throughout the UK.
Ann Loughrey is head of ScottishPower’s corporate social
responsibility team. She explained that the “…scheme will help to
ensure that people who may otherwise have slipped through the cracks
will now receive the help that they need. This is exactly the kind
of project the trust is keen to help.”
The Energy Agency, set up in 1999, runs the Energy Saving Scotland
advice centre south west. Its director, Liz Marquis, said the grant
would “help some of the most vulnerable members of our community
insulate their homes adequately. This not only saves them money but
improves the quality of their lives and contributes to global
reduction in carbon emissions.”