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2 March 2021

Stevenson Welcomes New Heating Payment to Help People with Bills

Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed a new home heating support fund launched to help people struggling with their energy bills as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The £4million Scottish Government scheme – which will be administered by national advice service Advice Direct Scotland – is designed to prevent households falling into fuel poverty.

The Home Heating Support Fund is open until March 31 and applications can only be made on behalf of individuals by referral partners.

This includes local authorities and third sector organisations, with payments then made directly to energy suppliers on behalf of their customers.

Eligibility is based on households which have been faced with rationing their energy usage, meaning those who are deliberately limiting their energy use so that they can afford to spend money on other goods or services.

In 2019, an estimated 24.6 percent of all households were in fuel poverty - around 613,000 households – and the pandemic has increased financial hardship for many.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said:

“I welcome this funding which will help families who have had additional financial costs due to the increased bills from being at home because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“This fund will help to assist in helping support households from the impact of fuel poverty which is a reality for many families just now.

“It is important the Scottish Government is able to support people by tackling inequality and ensuring people are not left making choices between different household costs.”

Commenting, Chief Executive of Advice Direct Scotland Andrew Bartlett said:

“No household should suffer in fuel poverty or have to ration fuel to get by.

“The Covid pandemic has increased financial hardship and many Scots have been left struggling as a result of increased energy costs while working from home or home-schooling.

“We are working hard to administer this new fund from the Scottish Government to ensure that fewer Scots are struggling with their energy bills.

“As well as working closely with partner organisations, our own expert debt advisers can also directly help individuals who have financial worries.”

More information on the Home Heating Support Fund is available here:

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