Thousands of vulnerable households across Scotland will be helped by a new energy efficiency project which has received funding from the ScottishPower Energy People Trust.
The SOLAS Home Energy Help initiative has been awarded £75,000 from the Trust which will enhance its existing services by helping to fund two new employees.
The Energy Advocates will work alongside and be mentored by SOLAS Scotland’s existing Community Officer.
Their main role will be to build on the foundations the charity already has in place by extending and enhancing the energy efficiency advice, advocacy and support services it offers.
Ann Loughrey, ScottishPower’s Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and The ScottishPower Energy People Trust’s Company Secretary said: ”We are delighted to be able to assist this SOLAS project. We have been champions of the work carried out by SOLAS for a long time and this funding will allow them to extend their service even further to help more vulnerable individuals.
“By helping people to maximise their income and advising them on how to implement simple energy efficiency tips into their home they can help resolve many fuel bill issues and ensure families have sufficient funds to run their households.”
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.
Anticipated outcomes of the SOLAS project will be to increase take up of welfare benefit, reduce fuel poverty by improved energy efficiency, resolve fuel bill issues and increased take up of energy efficiency measures through CERT & EAP with opportunities to learn and replicate across Scotland.
Jim Percival, SOLAS’ Community Officer said: “It’s great that the ScottishPower Energy People Trust is helping Solas in this way. As anticipated, demand has been high and positive outcomes for many householders in or at risk of Fuel Poverty have already been secured. We believe the Home Energy Help project is unique and exciting, and we hope the independent evaluation to be carried out by Energy Action Scotland will confirm and describe the many unique benefits it brings to vulnerable people.”
When complete, the Home Energy Help Project is expected to assist over 1000 households.
So far, the ScottishPower Energy People Trust has awarded over £7m to 148 projects helping over 824,000 individuals in over 620,000 households throughout Britain.