A project which will help young people and families living in fuel poverty in West Lothian has been given a £90,000 boost from the ScottishPower Energy People Trust.
West Lothian Credit Union Forum will receive funding towards an energy advice programme aimed at lifting young people and families with young children out of fuel poverty.
The credit union is working in partnership with the West Lothian Council Advice Shop and West Lothian Financial Inclusion Network to deliver the scheme and to identify people in need of energy guidance. The service which will provide expert energy advice is expected to help around 750 individuals.
Ann Loughrey, ScottishPower’s Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and The ScottishPower Energy People Trust’s Company Secretary, said:
“We are delighted to fund this valuable service provided by West Lothian Credit Union Forum. It is exactly the kind of project the ScottishPower Energy People Trust is keen to help.
“Young people and those with young children may need a little extra help with their energy requirements which is why it’s good to offer advice at an early stage. By speaking to an energy advisor it will enable them to become more comfortable with their energy usage and finances and start them off on the correct path so they can avoid getting into debt.”
West Lothian Credit Union Forum was formed in 1999 by the three credit unions operating in West Lothian (Blackburn Seafield & District, Capital and Livingston) as well as West Lothian Council to promote credit union membership to all who live or work in West Lothian, particularly those who are financially excluded.
Liam Murphy, Chairman of West Lothian Credit Union Forum, said:
“As well as getting advice on improving energy usage, members will be able to get access to loans to fund the replacement of inefficient appliances, the cost of improving home insulation or moving to lower energy tariffs. The ScottishPower Energy People Trust’s funding will enable the project to reduce the number of people in West Lothian slipping into fuel poverty.”
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.
To date, the ScottishPower Energy People Trust has awarded over £7.5m to 152 projects helping 830,671 individuals in 626,961 households throughout Britain.