Support Programmes for the Fuel Poor
Energy Action Scotland (EAS) considers that there needs to be a publicly funded programme for those who cannot afford to pay for energy efficiency measures and energy advice. EAS believes that a free, easily accessible, one-stop-shop service should direct consumers to the right scheme according to their needs and their ability to pay.
Home Energy Efficiency Programmes for Scotland (HEEPS)
EAS welcomed the launch by the Scottish Government in 2013 of the Home Energy Efficiency Programmes for Scotland (HEEPS) to replace the previous schemes.
Along with the Scottish Fuel Poverty Forum, EAS had advocated targeting the worst affected areas first through a national retrofit programme. This is why the Area Based Scheme (ABS) element of HEEPS is particularly useful as it recognises that there are people who will not phone or approach others for help when it comes to living in a cold home. With ABS, help approaches the household and offers face-to-face delivery which is vital to get help to the most vulnerable.
While supporting the area based approach of HEEPS:ABS, EAS strongly believes there also needs to be a national programme that offers assistance on a reactive basis to individuals. There are individuals who are very much in need of immediate assistance but are not in a current ABS area. We therefore support the continuation of support as provided by the HEEPS: Warmer Homes Scotland scheme.
Energy Company Obligation (ECO)
The GB-wide ECO scheme has been directed by the UK Government and delivered as an obligation on the larger fuel companies. This energy efficiency programme is significant as it provides a means of raising awareness of and funding energy efficiency improvements in homes. However, it has not served well the more rural and remote areas of Scotland.
ECO comes under the matters that are due to be devolved, under the Scotland Act, to the Scottish Government. EAS believes ECO remains an important source of energy efficiency measures, despite the regressive nature of its funding. However, EAS also welcomes the opportunity for the scheme to be better-suited to deliver in all areas of Scotland.
All programmes which aim to help reduce the initial or overall costs of energy efficiency retrofitting or the overall costs of energy bills are welcomed by EAS. Programmes such as the Warm Home Discount and Winter Fuel Payments, Cold Weather Payments, are all acknowledged as being valuable. For further information on programmes, see Policy, Legislation and Schemes .