£320,000 grant to tackle Borders fuel poverty

MORE than 600 households in the Borders will be given free help to cut their energy bills this winter, thanks to a £320,00 grant from the Scottish Government.

The funding, announced by Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, will be used to install vital energy efficiency measures, such as loft and cavity insulation into homes across the region.

Also, from this week, a Scottish Government cash back voucher scheme will go live benefitting up to 35,000 households across Scotland. This will allow individual householders to apply for £500 vouchers to contribute to the cost of new energy efficiency measures in their properties.

Ms Sturgeon said: “With temperatures dropping and colder weather beginning to bite, households in the Borders will be worrying about their winter energy bills.

“Solid action is absolutely imperative. That is why we have ploughed additional funds into the Universal Home Insulation Scheme to help make homes warmer and cheaper to heat.

“This is the kind of vital help which can make a real difference to those struggling to make ends meet and demonstrates we will do whatever we can within devolved powers to tackle fuel poverty. Anyone looking for help with their heating bills can contact 0800 512 012 for further assistance.”

The home energy scheme is administered locally by Scottish Borders Council and a spokesperson for the local authority said they hoped the Government grant would help them further reduce fuel poverty in the Borders.

They told ‘The Berwickshire’: “Due to the success of the current Free Home Insulation offer an application to the Government for additional funding was submitted in September. We are delighted that we have been awarded an additional £320,000 to continue to deliver free home insulation across the Borders. The scheme has made some significant progress in helping us to tackle fuel poverty, improve home energy efficiency and generally make homes cosier and more comfortable across the region.

“This funding comes in addition to a grant of £485,000 which was awarded at the start of the year, and will allow us to provide an additional 700 insulation measures across the Borders.

We would urge anybody who has not already done so to call the Home Energy Scotland Hotline to enquire about the offer.”