FABIANI COMMENDS FUEL POVERTY FUNDING BOOST

MSP for East Kilbride, Linda Fabiani, has welcomed Cabinet Secretary Alex Neil’s announcement that funding in Scotland to target fuel poverty and energy efficiency will be bolstered by a record 35% increase to £66.25million by 2015.

The Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure & Capital Investment also made available £5million for the Energy Assistance Package to help customers with their heating through the winter ahead, and announced this weekend another £1.5million for the Boiler Scrappage Scheme.

Linda said “Heating our homes, as we have seen in widespread media coverage over recent days and weeks, is becoming increasingly expensive due to extortionate rises from the main energy companies.

“No-one should be made to fear the cost of heating their own home be it by gas, electricity or oil. This is an issue which is facing residents not just in East Kilbride but right across Scotland.

“The record funding provided for fuel poverty and energy efficiency programmes of £66.25million will go some way to alleviate the pain people are feeling. It will free up cash to provide insulation for East Kilbride residents’ homes and help keep houses warm. At the heart of the problem is the UK Government’s inaction to tackle the root causes of soaring bills – but in Scotland we are taking action.

“The £5million boost for the Energy Assistance Package scheme will also provide vital additional help through the forthcoming months, helping replace inefficient central heating systems – and with £1.5million more going towards the successful popular Boiler Scrappage Scheme this will help target private landlords.

“Another central plank of Mr Neil’s announcement is the eligibility of everyone in receipt of Carers’ Allowance for the Energy Assistance Package scheme – this will mean an extra 7,000 people across the country in line for help heating their homes.

“I very much welcome this funding boost at what is a crucial time for East Kilbride residents, many of whom will be feeling the pinch this winter.” 

Fuel poverty is defined as spending 10 per cent or more of household income on domestic fuel bills.

Scottish government Fuel Poverty and Energy Efficiency programmes will receive £65million in 2012-13 and in 2013-14, rising to £66.25million in 2014-15, representing a 35 per cent increase on the original £48million budget in 2011-12. The £48million includes £12.5 million for the Universal Home Insulation Scheme, £2.5million for the boiler scrappage scheme and the balance for the Energy Assistance Package and Fuel Poverty measures.

Mr Neil announced this weekend that another £1.5million on top of the previously announced £2.5million will help fund the Boiler Scrappage Scheme – a total of £4million.

The Fuel Poverty Review will focus on the nature of fuel poverty and its drivers, future options for our fuel poverty programmes and how to maximise the leverage of external funds, and it will examine engagement on reserved matters.

Further information on fuel poverty, and information on accessing the aforementioned schemes, is available at

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Built-Environment/Housing/warmhomes/fuelpoverty

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