With a little over six years before the target date to end fuel poverty has to be met, it is essential to identify and implement as soon as possible the steps that must be taken to make all homes in Scotland affordable to heat.
This week (4-5-6 November) a national conference to be held in Dunblane and run by charity Energy Action Scotland, and sponsored by ScottishPower, will seek the answers. Delegates will examine the barriers that must be overcome in order to achieve the goal of eradicating fuel poverty by 2016 as required by the Housing Scotland Act (2001).
The conference is due to be opened by Housing and Communities Minister, Alex Neil. Mr Neil is expected to tell delegates about the progress of Scottish Government schemes such as the recently launched Energy Assistance Package and Home Insulation Scheme which aim to help maximise incomes, reduce fuel bills and improve the energy efficiency of homes.
As the national charity aiming to achieve warm, dry homes for all, Energy Action Scotland is working to bring about change both at a policy level and in the delivery of practical help to the 800,000 – almost 1 in 3 – Scots households struggling to pay their home energy bills.
Norman Kerr, Director of Energy Action Scotland says: “With an increasing emphasis on climate change and reducing excessive energy use, there is a danger that the needs of the fuel poor – who often already ration their use of energy - will be sidelined and we must avoid this happening.
“Making our homes more energy efficient is important and there are a number of schemes available to do this, but they need to work together rather than in parallel. We must also look carefully at who bears the cost, particularly as the solutions become more technologically advanced.”
Energy supply companies also have an important role in addressing fuel poverty and the conference is being sponsored by ScottishPower.
Nick Horler, Chief Executive of ScottishPower comments: “ScottishPower is delighted to be sponsoring this important conference. In the last year energy suppliers have delivered a near three fold increase in the amount spent on initiatives to help some of the most vulnerable in society. But, despite this continued effort, barriers remain and we must use this conference as a platform to address how we will work together, pooling resources to have a lasting impact on tackling fuel poverty.”
For further information contact:
ScottishPower: Paul Ferguson, Media Relations Manager on 0141 566 4515 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Energy Action Scotland: Elizabeth Gore, PR Manager on tel: 0141 226 3064 or email: email@example.com or mobile: 07764 212564
The Energy Action Scotland Annual Conference 2009 takes place on Wednesday 4, Thursday 5 and Friday 6 November in Dunblane Hydro Hotel, Dunblane, Perthshire. The title is ‘2016: Bringing Down the Barriers – Reaching the Target to End Fuel Poverty’. It is sponsored by ScottishPower. Speakers and programme at: www.eas.org.uk
Energy Action Scotland is the national charity which aims to end fuel poverty and promote warm, dry homes for all in Scotland.
Fuel poverty is the inability to afford adequate warmth. The three main causes are poor energy efficiency of the home, low disposable household income and high energy prices.