MSP welcomes news of grant for energy agency

Michael Russell MSP has welcomed news that Argyll, Lomond and the Islands Energy Agency has been successful in applying for a £780,782 Investing In Communities, Life Transitions grant.

The Argyll, Lomond and the Islands Energy Agency’s five year `Affordable Warmth for Sustainable Rural Communities in Argyll’ project will provide intensive support to 1500 elderly people and single parent families to enable them to move out of fuel poverty, including residents on Bute.

Specialist advisors will provide in-depth advice and support to improve energy efficiency behaviours and financial skills of beneficiaries, and help them access affordable energy to reduce fuel poverty. The project will also develop support mechanisms within the community by delivering capacity building training to front-line health and social care providers to increase awareness of fuel poverty.

The project also seeks to improve identification, referral and support of elderly people and lone parents experiencing fuel poverty, and by developing local support networks comprising local advice agencies, NHS and local authority representatives.

Mr Russell said: “This project will valuable in tackling fuel poverty and the problems associated with it particularly in rural areas where the difficulties are more dispersed, more prevalent and where homes are more traditionally built and harder to treat.”