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Caithness News Bulletins September 2003
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Funding To Fight Fuel Poverty
17 September 03
The Deputy Communities Minister Mary Mulligan today announced the allocation of £3 million for 29 local authorities to help them tackle fuel poverty. Highland gets £80,817 as its share in this particular round.
She also said that a relaxation of the rules means that more innovative approaches can be adopted to fight fuel poverty. This means that councils can introduce new services.
For example, this year Clackmannanshire Council will replace solid fuel with more environmentally friendly gas central heating systems in 50 of their properties. And North Lanarkshire Council will use the money to provide tenants with services such as energy advice and benefit entitlement checks.
Mary Mulligan said: "Our policies are working to tackle poverty and disadvantage. The Warm Deal has successfully helped to provide warm dry homes and reduced fuel bills for thousands of people. Councils will receive £3 million this year.
"Normally, this funding has been used for measures such as loft insulation and draftproofing. However, this year we've allowed increased flexibility so that councils can use it to undertake a wider range of measures to tackle fuel poverty such as extending the gas network which will be especially beneficial in rural areas."
Since 1999, over £38 million has been invested in the Warm Deal. It has been integral in tackling fuel poverty in Scotland and over 135,000 households – in the private and social sector - have benefited.
Energy Action Scotland Director Ann Loughrey said: "In order to tackle fuel poverty across Scotland local authorities must have access to funding for a range of measures to improve the heating and energy efficiency of homes including those that are hard to treat. The greater flexibility allowed with this year’s Warm Deal allocations will enable authorities to bridge gaps in existing provision and take more people out of fuel poverty."
|WARM DEAL ALLOCATION
BY LOCAL AUTHORITY
Aberdeen - 259,715
This £3 million funding comes from the Scottish Budget 2002. The money was allocated from the Scottish Executive Fuel Poverty budget after resources for existing commitments, notably the Central Heating Programme, had been set for the year. Any local authority tenant who wants central heating will have it by April 2004.
Warm Deal was established in 1999 and provides eligible households with a comprehensive package of works, comprising: Cavity wall insulation or loft, tank and pipe insulation. Plus hot tank insulation; draught proofing; energy efficient light bulbs; and advice on energy use and conservation. Warm Deal replaced the Home Energy Efficiency Scheme.
New measures mean that authorities may use the funding for community heating projects, work to support the extension of the gas network, renewable programmes that tackle fuel poverty and support for fuel switching (for example, solid fuel to gas). All proposals will to be judged on their merits.
This phase of funding will be distributed through Communities Scotland and will go to 29 local authorities. Dumfries and Galloway, Glasgow and Scottish Borders have transferred their social housing stock and are therefore not eligible to participate. However, making homes more energy efficient is a key element of each of the investment plans that have been funded through stock transfer.
Individual local authority allocations have been calculated on the basis of the number of properties in the housing stock, adjusted so that those local authorities who did not benefit under the Central Heating Programme receive a higher allocation.