Councillors Asked to Approve Projects to Tackle Fuel Poverty

Dumfries and Galloway will benefit from Scottish Government funding to the tune of £2.063 million.

The purpose of the funding is to reduce carbon emissions, tackle fuel poverty in our region and the focus will be on whole street solid wall insulation, free loft and cavity wall insulation and a whole house approach to energy saving. Councillors will be told about the Government funding for the Home Energy Efficiency Programmes for Scotland: Area Based Scheme (HEEP: ABS) for 2018/19 at the meeting of Communities committee next week.
The HEEPS: ABS programme is proving to be an effective way of assisting fuel poor households to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. Since the HEEPS: ABS Project began, there have been more than 1,450 energy efficiency measures installed across Dumfries and Galloway. These measures will save over 41,450t of carbon in their lifetime and result in fuel bill savings in excess of £10m at current prices.

At the committee meeting, Councillors will be asked to approve the projects that will be submitted to the Scottish Government for the HEEPS: ABS programme for Dumfries and Galloway in 2018/19.

A whole street approach is being proposed by the Council. This approach is implemented by identifying a number of households in one location and carrying our simultaneous works to properties. This method is normally adopted where there is a prevalence of a property construction types that lends itself to the installation of solid wall insulation. Members are being asked to approve the following projects:

Stranraer solid wall insulation project – This approach will focus on the most deprived areas and target properties that are able to benefit from solid wall insulation energy efficiency measures.

• Dumfries solid wall insulation project – This project will offer a whole street approach in the lowest SIMD areas.

• Dumfries and Galloway rural insulation project – This project is a continuation of previous work and will include suitable properties in town, villages and individual houses in the countryside throughout the region.

• Dalbeattie External Wall Insulation Project – areas within Dalbeattie are in the lowest SIMD. External wall insulation will be the focus for suitable properties.

• Gretna External Wall Insulation Project – areas within Gretna are in the lowest SIMD. External wall insulation will be the focus for eligible properties.

Chair of the Communities Committee, Councillor Andy Ferguson, said:
We are determined to tackle fuel poverty in all its forms. This award is most welcome at a time when energy bills continue to be a concern for those facing poverty in our region. Hopefully the measures outlined will reduce householder bills reducing the impact of energy price rises. I am confident that the whole street approach will help to target households in those areas that are most in need across our region.”
Vice Chair of the committee, Councillor John Martin, echoed the comments “Our council will continue to work in partnership with the Energy Agency to ensure the successful delivery of this nationally recognised and award winning project. This Administration committed to tackle poverty in all its forms, including fuel poverty. In a rural area like Dumfries and Galloway, this project is essential to addressing some of the causes of poverty in our region.”

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