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Energy Agency, the Ayrshire-based charity, is helping to keep homes across the region warm this winter by installing vital new heating systems for at risk households with the support of the ScottishPower Energy People Trust.  
Part of Energy Agency’s remit is to assist fuel poor households who are unable to heat their homes to a satisfactory level without spending more than 10% of their income on fuel for domestic heating and cooking purposes. They were awarded a £50,000 grant by the ScottishPower Energy People Trust, to provide heating and energy support for 45 individuals.
Neil Clitheroe, CEO, Retail & Generation, ScottishPower, visited Prestwick pensioner, Iain Ferrier, to hear first-hand about the support he has received from Energy Agency.  The retired council worker was unable to qualify for additional benefits such as an Energy Assistance Package on top of his small pension and was spending a disproportionate amount of money on his monthly energy bills because of his ageing heating system.

“I was worried that the situation would quickly get out of control, especially with the winter months ahead. That’s where the Energy Agency stepped in. With their help I was then able to afford a new, efficient heating system,” said Mr Ferrier.
Since applying for support from the Energy Agency Mr Ferrier has had a new ‘A’ rated gas central heating installed. “This has made a huge difference to my life. Now my house is ready for winter, my energy bills are lower and I don’t have to be worried about how I’ll manage my money in the coming months.”
Neil Clitheroe said: “Alarmingly, there are many people like Mr Ferrier who are slipping through the net - people who don’t qualify by a very small margin for mainstream support initiatives and are still living with poor heating systems.
“The ScottishPower Energy People Trust recognises that providing support for grass roots projects such as the Energy Agency is vital to helping those at risk. The team has made a huge difference to many vulnerable people living in Ayrshire and Dumfries & Galloway and continues to assist at risk people in the community.”
The project started five months ago, and to date has installed twelve heating systems, with a further four near completion.
Liz Marquis, Director of the Energy Agency, said: “It’s been fantastic to have received this funding from the ScottishPower Energy People Trust. We have worked in partnership with the Trust over a number of years now and this support goes a long way to assist householders in the area, just like Mr Ferrier, who are in the greatest need.”
The Scottish Government aims to ensure that by November 2016 people are not living in fuel poverty in Scotland.

Thursday, December 06, 2012