PROJECT workers at Angus Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) are celebrating after offering a helping hand to nearly 300 vulnerable households across the area.
The Fuel Fair project, which aims to relieve fuel poverty, was given a grant of almost £70,000 from the ScottishPower Energy People Trust in February this year and has helped save clients almost £6,500 in fuel bills as a direct result.
Angus CAB is using the funding to staff the project, which offers one-to-one working and group sessions with clients, advising them on energy efficiency, income maximisation and sensible budgeting. Nine months on, the project has already smashed its quarterly target of 210 households.
The project is just one of 125 across the UK to benefit from the ScottishPower Energy People Trust’s funding since its inception in 2005.
Ann Loughrey, ScottishPower’s head of Corporate Social Responsibility and The ScottishPower Energy People Trust’s company secretary, said:
“With the cold months setting in, now is the time for people at risk of living in fuel poverty to be taking advantage of support on offer. It’s important that people know how to budget sensibly and are fully aware of what benefits are available to them.
“We are pleased to hear that the Fuel Fair project has been a huge success and has brought warmth to so many households in Angus. We are confident that the staff will continue the good work and successfully reach their overall target of helping 840 homes in the area.”
As well as offering one-to-one support to people at risk of fuel poverty, the project provides group sessions, which have been very popular with expectant parents in particular.
Staff at the Fuel Fair initiative work with partner organisations, such as Tayside NHS, Angus Council, Homestart Angus and Angus Credit Union to identify the most vulnerable and in need of assistance. The project also accepts self-referrals.
One anonymous client has been very grateful for the support they have been offered at the project and said:
“It took a lot for my support worker to get me to come here but I’m so glad I did. Now that I’ve got control of my money and know that my bills are being paid, I don’t feel stressed. I’ve lost a stone and a half in weight and am spending more time with the kids instead of buying them stuff they don’t need.”
The two year-long initiative is set to be complete by the end of January 2011 and aims to assist a total of 2,050 individuals in 840 households.
George Allan, head of Service at CAB, said:
“The Fuel Fair project provides a holistic approach to encouraging financial capability, including taking account of energy efficiency in the home.
“We are delighted with the initiative’s progress so far. It’s been nine months since we launched and we are confident that we will reach our overall target of helping 840 households in Angus.”
For more information on the ScottishPower Energy People Trust, log on to www.energypeopletrust.co.uk.
For more information contact:
Gillian Hamilton, at The BIG Partnership, on 0141 333 9585 / 07734 656 676 or email email@example.com
Note to Editors:
- ScottishPower has published its CSR Annual Review 2008 online. Following feedback from its stakeholders, this year’s Review is very much led by the community groups ScottishPower works with. To hear first hand from them as they tell their story about working with the company, tune in to ScottishPower’s innovative CSR TV station at: www.scottishpowercsrannualreview.com.
- The ScottishPower Energy People Trust does not provide funding directly to individuals but provides funding to not for profit organisations which represent the vulnerable/fuel poor. People described as living in fuel poverty are those who spend more than ten per cent of their income on energy bills.
- The decisions on the awards to organisations are made independent of ScottishPower by the Board of Trustees of the charity.
- To apply for a grant from The ScottishPower Energy People Trust, log onto www.energypeopletrust.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0141 568 4727.
- The ScottishPower Energy People Trust is just one of a number of ScottishPower initiatives which assist some of the UK’s most vulnerable people. As well as working closely with the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, ScottishPower employs Community Liaison Officers who visit people in their homes. The energy supplier has also insulated thousands of homes across the UK through its Energy Efficiency Commitment.
- ScottishPower has delivered 70 per cent of its Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT). This means that ScottishPower has now installed energy efficiency measures equivalent to insulating over 580,000 homes across the country. CERT – which came into effect on 1 April 2008 and is due to run until 2011 – is an obligation on energy suppliers to achieve targets for promoting reductions in carbon emissions in homes across the UK. 40 per cent of the CERT spend is directed towards customers believed to be the most vulnerable therefore also making a contribution to eradicating fuel poverty.
- In the Ofgem Monitoring suppliers’ social programmes 2007-08 December 2008, The Energy People Trust was identified as implementing best practice by providing support to trusted third party intermediaries and organisations to target assistance to those in fuel poverty, particularly those who are the most difficult to identify and hardest-to-reach.
- Established in November 2005, the ScottishPower Energy People Trust provides vital funding for not-for-profit organisations that help vulnerable people including families, young people, the disabled and the elderly, who need to spend more than ten per cent of their income on energy bills.
- To date, the Trust has awarded over £6m to 125 projects helping over 400,000 individuals in over 250,000 households throughout Britain.
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