Angus Council is pleased to announce the Angus HeatWell scheme, delivered with Scottish Government LACER funding in response to the rising fuel prices.
Deputy First Minister of Scotland John Swinney said:
“Our £80 million Covid Economic Recovery Fund, launched in February, empowers councils to consider the needs of local businesses, communities and households, and to target support to help local economies.
“The HeatWell scheme in Angus can make a difference to those struggling to heat their homes this winter and help address the pressures facing local residents.
“We know how difficult the cost of living crisis is for households across Scotland and we will continue to do everything within our resources and powers to help those most affected. We have continually urged the UK Government to use all the powers and financial flexibility at its disposal to tackle this emergency on the scale required.”
The Angus Heatwell financial assistance scheme is open to householders in Angus with prepayment meters, direct debit account and oil accounts and is being delivered by north-east charity, Scarf on the Council’s behalf.
Funded by £400,000 of Local Authority Covid-19 Economic Recovery (LACER) the scheme can provide – subject to eligibility - £147 of fuel vouchers to single occupancy households, or £294 of fuel vouchers to households with families of two or more. Access to vouchers is subject to further eligibility criteria, including total household income and receipt of benefits.
It is anticipated that over 1,300 households will benefit from the programme.
Cllr George Meechan, the Council’s spokesman for Welfare Rights, Poverty & Equality said: “Household budgets have already been stretched due to the general cost of living crisis, but the latest price increases will directly lead to many Angus households being unable to afford to adequately heat their homes this winter.
“This important scheme won’t solve the problem on its own, but it will at least provide some households with a buffer and ensure that our under-pressure citizens are able to put their heating on for warmth and comfort.”
David Mackay, Co-Chief Executive of Scarf said the fuel poverty gap in Angus before the Covid-19 outbreak was £760 and advised that this will only have increased due to national lockdowns during the pandemic.
He said: “The financial impact of Covid-19 has been made substantially worse with the energy crisis that has impacted households since April. As a frontline advice service we are witnessing first-hand the difficulties householders are facing, with further price increases this October and again early next year.
“Financial support like this new HeatWell programme can make a substantial difference to a household’s energy spend and general budget.”
To apply for Heatwell Angus assistance, go to Scarf’s Grants and Funding page for householders, or by freephone 0808 129 0888 (Mon-Fri 9am to 4.30pm) where callers can be taken through the application process or arrange a home visit.