With Orkney topping the fuel poverty league table in Scotland it is possible for some householders to alleviate their energy bills. Orkney Islands Council has been awarded £1.4 million from the Scottish Government for 2017-18 to help home owners, private sector tenants and landlords to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.
Under the Home Energy Efficiency Programmes for Scotland: Area Based Scheme (HEEPS: ABS), funding is available for loft insulation, under floor insulation, internal wall insulation, and external wall insulation. Up to £7,500 is available per applicant. However, a higher grant award of £9,000 can be considered where the applicant makes their own contribution of £1,000.
The Scottish Government has funded the Area Based Scheme to the tune of £47 million for 2017-2018 with local authorities being responsible for its development. HEEPS was set up by the Scottish Government to tackle fuel poverty and currently funds:
- Area Based Schemes (ABS)
- Warmer Homes Scotland
- Home Energy Scotland Loan Scheme
- Equity Loan Pilot Scheme
Earlier on this year the Orkney THAW charity voiced its concerns at the rise in electricity charges of 14.9% and warned of future increases with costs of subsea cabling and infrastructure being factored in. At the time THAW chairman Robert Leslie commented:
“As Orkney is top of Scotland’s fuel poverty league table, with 63% of households estimated to be fuel poor – 85% of pensioner households – this price hike is of grave concern. THAW Orkney has already responded during the consultation process to say that the impact on fuel poverty and the associated health impacts of living in cold and damp houses need to be taken into consideration when carrying out a cost benefit analysis of cable replacement.”
“The price hike will be crippling for Orkney households relying on electricity for their heating, so any increase on top of that due to additional cable costs is unthinkable. This will set back much of the good work done over the past year by THAW Orkney and by Scotland’s national energy efficiency programmes to take folk out of fuel poverty.”
Steven Aberdein, the Orkney Islands Council’s Fuel Poverty Officer, said:
“This is the third year of delivery for the HEEPS: ABS in Orkney and already almost 300 properties have been upgraded as a result.”
“As we approach this significant milestone, we are taking the opportunity to remind people that funding continues to be available to make their homes more warm and comfortable – and to cut their fuel costs in the process.”
In Orkney Firefly Energi have been put in charge of managing the ABS scheme. Contact them if you wish to find out more information or to register.
- Telephone: 01856 881 151
- Address: 31 Broad Street, Kirkwall Mon – Fri 0900 – 1700
Reporter: Fiona Grahame