Jenny Gilruth MSP welcomes new home heating support fund launched for Scots struggling with their energy bills.
Published date : 25 Jan 2022
For Immediate Release:
Tuesday 25 January
MSP for Mid Fife and Glenrothes has welcomed a new home heating support fund which will help Scots struggling with their energy bills amid a growing cost-of-living crisis.
The £3 million Scottish Government scheme, which is administered by national advice service Advice Direct Scotland, is designed to prevent households falling into fuel poverty and help those ‘rationing’ their energy use.
The Home Heating Support Fund is open until 31 March and applications can only be made on behalf of individuals by referral partners through homeheatingadvice.scot.
Local authorities and housing associations, as well as charities and organisations which provide energy or debt advice, are encouraged to register online so that they can seek funding for people they support.
Individuals cannot apply directly, but they should contact Advice Direct Scotland for free on 0808 800 9060 or visit www.advice.scot, and trained advisers can assess their eligibility and refer them if appropriate.
Commenting, Jenny Gilruth MSP said:
“I welcome this latest fund which will be vital in preventing Scots from falling into fuel poverty.
“While this action is indeed welcome, the majority of powers relating to the energy markets are reserved to Westminster and swift action is needed. The UK Government must urgently take further tangible actions in addition to what suppliers are already been asked to do to support those in need.
“It was incredibly disappointing to see the Tories vote against measures last week that would cut VAT on energy bills, easing the pressure on families across Fife.
“Once again, we have a tale of two governments. One in Scotland is taking action to tackle fuel poverty, while the other in London is busy sitting on its hands during a cost of living crisis”
Andrew Bartlett, chief executive of Advice Direct Scotland, said:
“As the country recovers from the Covid pandemic and its economic impact, this fund will prove absolutely crucial in ensuring that households who have been hit the hardest can continue to heat their homes and feed their families.
“With recent energy prices rises and more on the horizon, we know that many Scots are facing financial difficulties at the moment.
“Last year, we discovered that families were rationing energy such as only heating one room, and this fund is designed to ensure that people do not have to make that choice.
“Our unique experience and infrastructure at Advice Direct Scotland guarantees our capability to ensure that financial support reaches consumers facing financial hardship, while our nationwide network allows us to deliver this vital service and ensure that all households in Scotland suffering from fuel poverty can receive the help they need.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
More information on the Home Heating Support Fund is available here: https://homeheatingadvice.scot/
Advice Direct Scotland is a charity which runs the national advice service advice.scot. Advice is available to everyone in Scotland, at no cost, regardless of personal circumstance, by phoning 0808 800 9060 or contacting advice.scot.
FINANCE & ECONOMY