A PROJECT set up to help residents in Ayr Lochside who are living in fuel poverty was officially launched at the weekend.
The Ayr Lochside Community Energy Project, organised by the Energy Agency, was awarded almost £100,000 from the ScottishPower Energy People Trust and launched last Saturday (26th April), with Councillor Douglas Campbell and Sandra Osborne, MP, in attendance.
With South Ayrshire Council estimating the fuel poverty index of the Ayr Lochside area to be 58 per cent, the timing of the grant is crucial in order to prevent homes from suffering further.
Ann Loughrey, ScottishPower’s Head of Corporate Responsibility and The ScottishPower Energy People Trust’s Company Secretary, said:
“The Ayr Lochside Community Energy Project is a fantastic opportunity for locals, who are in most need of assistance, to receive free insulation measures, which will inevitably help to save money and keep homes warmer.”
“Fuel poverty is a massive issue in Scotland and we decided to set up the ScottishPower Energy People Trust to help alleviate the problem, after extensive research was carried out.
“The aim of the Trust is to fund organisations and charities across Britain, who deal directly with those living in fuel poverty, including families with young children, the elderly and disabled.”
The launch also allowed locals to voice any questions they had of the service with project workers on hand to ensure residents were fully informed of the benefits the Community Energy Project will bring to the area.
The grant will help fund free loft and / or cavity wall insulation to suitable households, identified through a survey, as well as supplying tips on energy efficiency to help households make the most of the energy they use and improve their income in the long term.
The energy efficiency surveys will take place between May and June on 800 of the 1350 households in the area, with homes that do not meet insulation standards benefiting from the free insulation.
Energy Agency Project Manager, Michael Carr, said:
“We’re really looking forward to seeing the benefits the project will bring to the community of Ayr Lochside and we are very grateful to The ScottishPower Energy People Trust for the grant.
“The remaining 550 properties in Lochside, which council records show already have sufficient insulation, will not be surveyed but have received energy tips and will be able to pick up two free low energy light bulbs from project partner, Ayrshire Initiatives.”
South Ayrshire Council is also part funding the year-long project, which looks to assist over 1300 households in the area.
Sandra Osborne, MP for Ayr, Carrick & Cumnock, said:
“I welcome the benefits this funding will bring to the residents of Lochside, especially with the recent deal that the Government has secured with energy companies, which means the amount of money being spent on social programmes to help the poorest heat their homes is now set to treble.
“I do not under estimate the difficulties and anxiety that rising energy prices can cause but I believe that this extra cash, as well as other measures, will help us towards our goal of eradicating fuel poverty in the UK.”
The ScottishPower Energy People Trust was established in November 2005 to fund not-for-profit organisations that help vulnerable people including families, young people, the disabled and the elderly who need to spend more than 10% of their income on energy bills.
So far, the ScottishPower Energy PeopleTrust has awarded a staggering £3.57m to 87 projects across Britain, assisting over 215,000 individuals in over 88,000 households.
For more information contact:
Gillian Hamilton, at The BIG Partnership, on 0141 333 9585 / 07734656676 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Or, for more information on the Ayr Lochside Community Energy Project, contact:
Michael Carr at The Energy Agency, on 01292 521896, Donald Hendrie Building, Auchincruive, Ayr, KA6 5HW. e-mail email@example.com
Note to Editors:
The Energy Agency is a non-profit organisation providing free, impartial, expert advice on energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable issues. For further information contact The Energy Agency on 01292 521896.
The Energy Agency won the Energy Action Scotland, Energy Savers Award 2007, the National Energy Efficiency Awards 2007 and the National Home Improvement Council Awards 2007.
The ScottishPower Energy People Trust does not provide funding directly to individuals but provides funding to not for profit organisations which represent the vulnerable/fuel poor. People described as living in fuel poverty are those who spend more than 10% of their income on energy bills.
There is no time limit in organisations applying for funds as the Trust is a long term registered charity. The decisions on the awards to organisations are made independent of ScottishPower by the Board of Trustees of the charity.
To apply for a grant from The ScottishPower Energy People Trust, log onto www.energypeopletrust.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0141 568 4727.
The ScottishPower Energy People Trust is just one of a number of ScottishPower initiatives which assist some of the UK’s most vulnerable people. As well as working closely with the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, ScottishPower employs Community Liaison Officers who visit people in their homes. The energy supplier has also insulated thousands of homes across the UK through its Energy Efficiency Commitment.
In Ofgem’s Review of Suppliers’ Voluntary Initiatives to Help Vulnerable Customers (August 2007), the Trust was recognised for Best Practice as it integrated energy efficiency advice and the provision of EEC measures to help customers manage and reduce future energy expenditure.