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Scottish Government Energy Assistance package

The Energy Assistance Package is a holistic package to help maximise incomes, reduce fuel bills and improve the energy efficiency of homes. It was introduced in April 2009 and replaced the Central Heating and Warm Deal programmes.

It has four stages:

  1. An initial energy audit available to anyone who phones the  Energy Savings Scotland Advice Centre (ESSAC) network and identifies those at risk of fuel poverty who continue to Stage 2.
  2. Help with improving incomes and reducing energy bills.
  3. A package of standard insulation measures (cavity wall and loft insulation), as part of the energy companies' obligation under the Carbon Emission Reduction Target (CERT).
  4. More enhanced energy efficiency measures (such as heating systems including renewable systems, and insulation measures for hard to insulate homes for those who are fuel poor).

Who Benefits?

Stages 1 to 3 are widely available and Stage 4, as recommended by the forum, will be focused on homes with very poor energy efficiency and lived in by those households most vulnerable to fuel poverty.

Stage 1: Anyone can phone for energy efficiency advice from ESSAC.

Stage 2: All those vulnerable to fuel poverty will be offered further help with improving incomes and reducing energy bills

Stage 3: All those vulnerable to fuel poverty will be provided standard insulation measures (cavity and loft insulation, wherever the home can take these). These will be provided free to all those on income-related benefits or aged over 70, and at a subsidised rate to others.

Stage 4: Help is available to the following groups in private sector homes:

  • all pensioner households who have never had central heating installed;
  • pensioners in energy-inefficient homes who are in receipt of the Guarantee Element of Pension Credit or are aged 75 or over;
  • low-income families in energy-inefficient homes with a child under five or a disabled child under 16; and for the first time
  • those living permanently in mobile homes.

'Low income' is defined as on income support, maximum child tax credit or guarantee element of pension credit.

'Energy inefficient homes' are defined as those where an energy audit identifies that the dwelling has a performance rating of F or G.

Who will deliver the package?

The package builds on the existing energy efficiency advice network and will be delivered in partnership with existing advice providers, energy companies and the Scottish Government. To ensure a smooth transition to the new package, Scottish Gas will act as managing agent for Stage 4 during 2009/10. Its current contract to manage the existing programmes is being extended by a year to March 2010 to deliver this.

Funding

The package will be supported by Scottish Government funding worth 55.8m per annum, and CERT funding from the energy companies. Government funding comes from a range of budgets across the Scottish Government as the package will deliver a combination of fuel poverty and wider poverty, climate change and energy objectives in a co-ordinated manner.

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