Fyne Homes has launched a new project aimed at reducing tenants’ energy bills and cutting fuel poverty.
The Fyne Heat initiative - with the backing of £83,306 from the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund - is the result of a survey of the association’s tenants which revealed a “quite alarming” level of fuel poverty.
Karen Hilton, FyneHEAT Project Manager said: “The tenant survey, which was done as part of our ‘off-gas strategy’, to find out what tenants thought about the various types of heating installed over Fyne Homes stock, highlighted high levels of fuel poverty across all areas, not just in off-gas.
“ I was fully aware at the lack of funding coming to rural areas, despite the rhetoric about the amount of money available through all of the various schemes, so we decided that if no-one was going to help alleviate fuel poverty, no matter how loudly we shouted, we needed to do something ourselves.” We applied to the Scottish Governments Climate Challenge Fund and were delighted when we heard the news that our bid had been successful.”
Members of Fyne Homes’ staff are currently being trained by Energy Action Scotland to provide advice and information to help tenants reduce their bills. Energy Action Scotland (EAS) campaigns for an end to fuel poverty in Scotland and is the only national body with this sole remit.
Energy efficiency advice will be provided by Fyne Homes’ existing staff and a further three part-time advisers will be recruited by September to ensure as many tenants as possible can benefit from the service as autumn and winter approach.
One of the first Fyne Homes tenant to benefit from Fyne Heat’s advice is Sheila Marshall, who lives in Rothesay and who could save around £47 a year on her energy bills.
“I’ve learned more from Karen than I’ve ever known,” Sheila said. “I hadn’t a clue what she was talking about at first, but now I know what to do.
“I didn’t even think about it before. I would leave the cooker switched on and everything. Now I just go around the house and pull all the plugs out!”
“We reckon Sheila can save about £47 a year on her current bill, even though she’s quite energy efficient - her bill is just over one-third of the average, and she lives in a modern building which is quite well insulated, so we hope we will be able to save other tenants even more.
Fyne HEAT Fyne Homes Energy Action for Tenants
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