Angus MacDonald MSP welcomes new investment to tackle fuel poverty as winter campaign commences
Monday, 13 October 2014 08:47
Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald has welcomed an announcement by Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon that the Scottish Government will invest millions in a new national fuel poverty scheme, as she launched a campaign aimed at helping people reduce their winter fuel bills.
The Government will shortly be inviting bids for a contract, worth up to £224 million over seven years, to deliver a new national fuel poverty scheme from 2015. The new scheme will deliver energy efficiency measures such as better insulation and heating systems, helping to create warmer and greener homes for thousands of Scots.
The announcement comes as a campaign is launched encouraging Scots to take advantage of free help which is available now to reduce their winter fuel bills. The Home Energy Scotland campaign seeks to provide householders with free and impartial advice on support to help cut energy bills, whatever their circumstances.
Launching the campaign, the Deputy First Minister said: “It takes just one phone call to the Home Energy Scotland hotline to see if you can save money on winter fuel bills, and I would encourage people to call the hotline on 0808 808 2282, or visit the HES website.
“Anyone can get energy efficiency advice and find out what’s available to them, and many others can also qualify for energy saving improvements such as insulation, boilers or central heating for free.
“Rising energy bills remain a huge concern for the Scottish Government and fuel poverty is still a major issue in Scotland, with over 27 per cent of households affected.
“It is a scandal that there should be any fuel poverty in an energy-rich country like Scotland, and that is why I am delighted to announce a contract worth up to £224 million over seven years for the delivery of a new national fuel poverty scheme from 2015.
“This will build on the success of the Energy Assistance Scheme, which has provided over 46,000 vulnerable households with heating and/or insulation measures over the past five years.
“This long term contract will help thousands more households over the next few years, and is testament to our commitment to helping Scots escape fuel poverty.”
Welcoming the news, Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald said; “It is heartening to learn that the Scottish Govenrment is taking further action to tackle the scandal of fuel poverty in Scotland. It is nothing short of a disgrace that we are subjected to this problem in energy-rich Scotland. The Scottish Government is doing all it can, however the transfer of more powers to Holyrood will allow us to tackle these issues head-on.”
“I would encourage constituents in Falkirk East to get impartial advice on energy efficiency and find out exactly what support they are eligible for - whatever their circumstances - by calling the Scottish Government Home Energy Scotland hotline on 0808 808 2282 or by visiting . Around a third of Scottish households have been offered advice through the hotline since it started.”
The TV advert can be viewed here: http://youtu.be/gv7cQdQYN8k