A winter warmer with £200,000 energy boost for Govan community
Funding will see energy advisers helping people to slash fuels bills.
Families in Govan have been given a winter warmer with news of a £200,000 energy boost for the community. The cash sum is to be used to employ energy advisers to help people slash their fuel bills.
The housing associations that secured the funding welcomed the news, calling it “another step forward” in the fight against fuel poverty.
The funding has come from the UK energy regulator OFGEM’s Energy Redress Scheme and is administered by the Energy Saving Trust. Elderpark Housing has been awarded the funding to work with Govan and Linthouse Housing Associations, with each association having a dedicated energy adviser who can offer support and assistance.
Elderpark Housing, in partnership with Govan and Linthouse Housing Associations, is the only housing association recipients in a list of nine UK awards in this current round of funding.
Now three energy advisers will be hired to spend the next two years working with local people on helping to reduce fuel poverty – a major issue for people in Govan.
The aim of the ‘Govan Energy Advice Project’ will be to offer support to prevent fuel poverty, tackle fuel debt, access best value tariffs and reduce household energy consumption through better energy usage.
Tenants from all three housing associations and new applicants identified as being fuel poor or at risk of being in fuel poverty will receive help with referrals coming from each organisation’s financial inclusion staff and housing officers.
The ambitious project has set a goal of making 750 home energy advice visits which initially will be delivered digitally due to restrictions imposed by the covid health emergency. Energy advice workshops will eventually be held as will drop-in community events.
Between them the three housing associations own and manage over 4,000 homes, and a high proportion of local residents are considered to be in fuel poverty.
The Scottish Government’s own figures which assess fuel poverty and extreme fuel poverty revealed, in 2019, that 28% of Glaswegians are in fuel poverty with 13% in extreme fuel poverty.
Gary Dalziel, Chief Executive of Elderpark Housing, said: “This is a great step forward. Fuel poverty is, without doubt, one of the biggest challenges our tenants face when living in their home, and this has, unfortunately, been magnified further by the devastating effects of the pandemic. This new project will make a real difference as we work together to tackle the menace of fuel poverty.”
Fiona McTaggart, Chief Executive of Govan Housing Association, said: “Over many months, the three housing associations in Govan have been working closely together as we combat the effects of the pandemic, which has turned so many lives upside down. Undoubtedly, the fuel poverty situation has worsened as a result of the ongoing emergency, and this project could not have come at a better time.”
Irene C McFarlane, Chief Executive of Linthouse Housing Association, added: “This is another example of housing associations working hand in hand to make a difference to people’s lives. I’m delighted we have been successful in obtaining this money which will deliver real benefits for local people in terms of energy costs.”
It is anticipated that the project will start in March, and all tenants will be able to access the service provided by each of the associations.