Friday, 30 November 2018

EAS response to the Local Government and Communities Committee for their Call for Evidence on the Fuel Poverty (Target, Definition and Strategy) (Scotland) Bill

Full written response from Energy Action Scotland to the Local Government and Communities Committee for their Call for Evidence on the Fuel Poverty (Target, Definition and Strategy) (Scotland) Bill.

Friday, 5 October 2018

Challenging Fuel Poverty - Blog for Challenge Poverty Week 2018

Fuel poverty is being unable to heat your home. Fuel poverty means having to make that choice between heating and eating. Fuel poverty means cold, damp homes.

Fuel poverty is a wider issue however than not being able to pay your heating bills. It has direct effects on your health: it worsens respiratory conditions, circulatory diseases. It affects your mental health as you struggle with high energy bills, and deal with energy debt. There are links between fuel poverty and increased mortality in winter, and links with health inequalities. Fuel poverty leads to repeat visits to your GP, and increased hospital visits.

Indirect effects include the effect on your health when you are unable to afford to pay the electricity to power the fridge which has your medication in it that you need to keep chilled. The effect on your health when you can’t afford the energy to pay for the lift in your home to help you get out of bed. The effect on your diet when you have to get food from the food bank which doesn’t need to be cooked. The effect on your children when they struggle in school and their attainment drops as there are no warm rooms for them to do their homework in. The effect when you don’t want to invite people into your home as it is so cold and mouldy which can then lead to social isolation and loneliness.

One of the key messages of Challenge Poverty Week is that poverty exists in Scotland and affects us all. Everyone is affected by fuel poverty. 26.5% of households in Scotland are in fuel poverty. 10% of these households are families with children while 41% are older households. The likelihood is that you or someone you know is currently living in the misery of fuel poverty.

So what is the solution?

The Scottish Government now recognises the seriousness of this issue, after much work by campaign groups such as EAS, and has made a commitment to address fuel poverty. They have introduced the Fuel Poverty (Target, Definition and Strategy) (Scotland) Bill which proposes to reduce fuel poverty to 5% by the year 2040. This new Bill will also introduce a new definition of fuel poverty that will focus on lower income households, and will develop a new long-term fuel poverty strategy.

The Scottish Government funds fuel poverty schemes and you can get energy efficient improvements made to your home which will help you save money on your bills. You might qualify for the Warm Home Discount scheme, or benefits like winter fuel payment or cold weather payments. There are also funds which can help you clear energy debt.

There is help out there. There are local energy advice agencies, environmental charities, Citizens Advice Bureaux, housing associations, energy teams in local authorities.

There are things you can do to help yourself. You can go to one of the above agencies and ask for help. You can hang thermal curtains in your windows and fit low energy bulbs to save money.  You can switch your energy supplier.

Fuel poverty can be resolved; it just needs increased investment, increased collaboration and increased will to solve it. We all need to work together to ensure another generation of children are not condemned to poor health and outcomes.

Friday, 31 August 2018

Energy Action Scotland Annual Conference and Exhibition 2018: 2040 Fuel Poverty a Long and Winding Road

Bookings now open
This past year has seen a shift in Scottish Government thinking and action around Fuel Poverty and Energy Efficiency. The introduction of Energy Efficient Scotland Route Map to 2040 and a proposed new definition of fuel poverty alongside a new fuel Poverty Bill provide real opportunity to shape the landscape of help and support for Scottish households.

This conference provides the opportunity to continue to shape the policy landscape and most importantly, to push for a more urgent outcome. 2040 is an entire generation away and it is unacceptable that this emerging generation should be condemned to live in fuel poverty.

Join EAS in helping to change the policy landscape. 

Programme details can be found here and a booking form can be found here.

Friday, 27 July 2018

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Scotland's Fuel Poverty Charity Welcomes New Routemap to an Energy Efficient Scotland

Scotland’s national fuel poverty charity, Energy Action Scotland welcomes today’s launch of a new Routemap to an Energy Efficient Scotland by First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon.

While attending the All Energy Conference in Glasgow, the First Minister spoke of her commitment to tackle fuel poverty and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, outlining action to ensure that by 2040, all homes are more fuel efficient.

Friday, 20 April 2018

HEEPS: Loan scheme for Registered Social Landlords now open for applications

The Scottish Government’s HEEPS: Loan scheme for Registered Social Landlords 2018/2019 is now open for applications.

Applications must be submitted by 31st July 2018 and will be reviewed on a first come, first served basis subject to available funding.  Successful applicants must complete work and claim their funds by 28th February 2019.

Further loan information and how to apply can be found here