Bid to Fight Fuel Inequality and Climate Change

Deputy First Minister Nicol Stephen attended a conference this week (Monday 26th March) on fuel poverty and climate change where he talked of the Executive’s drive to tackle the twin challenges.

The conference was hosted by SCARF (Save Cash and Reduce Fuel) to celebrate their 21st anniversary and to mark a year since The ScottishPower’s Energy People Trust made a grant of more than £75,000 to set the North East Cosy Homes project.

Deputy First Minister, Nicol Stephen, said:

I am glad to be at the SCARF 21st birthday conference. It is important that we get environmental and fuel poverty policies to work together to deliver warm, dry, comfortable homes in a clean, safe environment,

“We have already made huge strides forward in renewable energy. We have met our 2010 target on renewable generation years ahead of schedule.

I am determined that Scotland acts on the real potential we have to become the renewable energy powerhouse of Europe. It will deliver great results for our environment and great results for our economy.

“I want to see businesses, householders and the public sector look at the most efficient ways to use energy. Our renewable energy support schemes will help them. I announced the latest, a Biomass Support Scheme, with an extra £3 million, last week.”

SCARF chief executive Jean Morrison said: “SCARF has been at the forefront of tackling fuel poverty for the past 21 years. Progress has been made but there is still a long way to go.

“We are also facing a critical challenge to address climate change. How do we reconcile the need to provide everyone with warm, dry and affordable ways to heat their homes with a need to reduce the amount of fossil fuel we use?”

 “We are extremely grateful for the funding provided by The ScottishPower Energy People Trust as it has allowed us to help individuals by maximizing every pound spent on fuel by making their homes warmer and healthier.”

SCARF set up the The North East Cosy Homes project to prevent vulnerable households who were in danger of ‘slipping through the net’ from suffering from fuel poverty.

It achieved this by providing grants and advice about becoming more energy efficient and making sure the household income is as high as possible.

After a year, the project has resulted in both reducing and preventing fuel poverty, investment in energy efficiency installations therefore improving the health and well being of those in fuel poverty.

Since the project launched in April 2006, more than 500 householders in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Dundee, Moray and Perth & Kinross have benefited from the advice offered by project workers.

Ann Loughrey, ScottishPower’s Head of External Business and Community Relations and The Energy People Trust’s Company Secretary, said: “This project has provided a life-line to the vulnerable people of the North East and we are delighted to have been able to assist.

“We invest significantly in energy efficiency projects that can help customers save energy and reduce their fuel bills. We are required do this through the Government’s Energy Efficiency Commitment programme. In addition, we have established the ScottishPower Energy People Trust.

“We are all now facing important issues about climate change so it makes complete sense to be as energy-efficient as possible; it reduces CO2 emissions as well as saving money.”

The ScottishPower Energy People Trust is a charity administered by, but makes decisions independently of, ScottishPower.  The Trustees include representatives from Energy Action Scotland, National Energy Action and Glasgow University Urban Studies. 

The Trust has now assisted 57 organisations and has awarded over £2.17m to projects helping over 56,000 households.

For information on The ScottishPower Energy People Trust visit

For more information on SCARF and the North East Cosy Homes Project contact:
Jean Morrison, Chief Executive Officer SCARF Tel: 01224 253900 /07740 850882 or email

Monday, July 06, 2009