Getting the cost of energy support to those who need it most

Delivering even more tailored support to tens of thousands of households is at the heart of a major expansion of this year’s Fuel Insecurity Fund.

Last month the First Minister announced that the Fund will be tripled to £30 million this year, and details have now been announced of how the additional funding will help strengthen existing services and support new ones.

This includes £5 million for a new funding partner, The Wise Group, to provide one-to-one mentoring for households addressing the impact of increased fuel costs as part of a longer-term approach to tackling poverty and its causes.

The extra funding will also be directed to existing delivery partners:

  • Advice Direct Scotland – £9 million to administer Home Heating Support Fund grants to those struggling with the rapid increase in gas, electricity, and oil prices through referrals from more than 1,000 partners.
  • Fuel Bank Foundation – £8.5 million to rapidly support more than 85,000 households, including those with prepayment meters and at risk of imminent disconnection.
  • Scottish Federation of Housing Associations – £7.25 million to provide more than 55,000 households across Scotland with advice, support with bills, and energy-saving items like draught excluders, thick insulating curtains, and duvets or air fryers.
  • Energy Action Scotland – £250,000. EAS is Scotland’s only national charity campaigning to end fuel poverty.

Targeted action to tackle poverty and inequality in Scotland will be discussed at the first Anti-Poverty Summit convened by the First Minister on Wednesday. It will involve those with lived experience and experts from the public, private, and third sectors.

Energy Minister Gillian Martin visited Advice Direct Scotland’s Glasgow headquarters to meet advisers and learn more about how they are supporting people struggling to heat their homes. The Minister said:

“Nobody should have to compromise on fuel or other essentials, and that is why the Scottish Government is putting the interests of vulnerable households first to ensure they are supported with the cost of energy.

“The Fuel Insecurity Fund has been and continues to be a direct lifeline for many thousands of households across Scotland at a time of historically high energy bills. We will do everything we can within our powers to protect people as far as possible from the cost-of-living crisis.

“The First Minister has acted swiftly and decisively in tripling the value of the Fund, but the key energy policy levers remain with the UK Government. It continues to fail to take the necessary steps – which only it can take – to ensure households and businesses never experience this energy crisis again. This includes making essential reforms to the energy market so the link between the price of electricity and the cost of gas is permanently broken.”

Sean Duffy, CEO, of the Wise Group, added: “It’s great to see the Scottish Government taking action to help households struggling with fuel insecurity and poverty. We’re proud to be a new solutions partner for the Fuel Insecurity Fund, and excited about the opportunity to provide tailored, one-to-one Relational Mentoring to households in need. We know that everyone’s situation is different, so we’re committed to taking a personalised approach to support each household in a way that supports sustainable change. We’ve had great success stories, and we’re looking forward to making a real difference in people’s lives through this initiative.”

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