Fuel Poverty (Targets, Definition and Strategy) (Scotland) Bill: island communities impact assessment

Island communities impact assessment for the Fuel Poverty (Targets, Definition and Strategy) (Scotland) Bill as will be required by the Islands (Scotland) Act 2018 once in force.

Annex C: Scottish Programmes with relevance to the development of the Fuel Poverty Bill Strategy

Gluasad Comhla[11]

The Gluasad Comhla (Moving Together) Project is a new initiative from Tighean Innse Gall (TIG) for people who are registered with the Langabhat GP practice. It is part of the 'Inspiring Communities project' on the Western Isles and has been running for just over a year. People in poor health who would benefit from a warmer home are referred on. Their property is visited and assessed in terms of what can be done to improve it through insulation as well as providing help to understand heating controls, with fuel debt and applications for energy efficiency appliances. Everyone who is refereed through this project will also be eligible for a benefit check through Citizen's Advice.

Care and Repair[12]

TIG are providing the Care and Repair service, a local authority statutory duty, which supports vulnerable and elderly individuals in their own homes. Alongside adaptations to the home to prevent slips trips and falls, the service also provides light house maintenance to ensure that the home is wind and water tight. The service pays for the labour, while the customer pays for materials.

HES Homecare pilot[13]

The HES Homecare pilot aimed to test the Energy Carer Approach to tackling rural fuel poverty in two rural areas: Annandale and Eskdale and Moray East. The Energycarer approach provides support in accessing energy retrofitting opportunities and funding for vulnerable rural fuel poor households who have additional vulnerabilities to the effects of fuel poverty and who may require multiple points of contact and face-to-face visits, rather than single phone calls offered through traditional services. Following an evaluation of the pilot the Energy Carer service is being rolled out across Scotland by Home Energy Scotland. This pilot project fulfils the Scottish Rural Fuel Poverty Task Force's 2016 report recommendation: -

"the commissioning of an energy carer pilot to assess the effectiveness of high quality, in-home locally delivered, holistic support in bringing verifiable affordable warmth improvement to cold, vulnerable fuel poor households living in any part of remote rural Scotland."[14]

THAW Orkney Affordable Warmth Project[15]

In 2016/17, THAW Orkney, with financial assistance from British Gas Energy Trust and Energy Action Scotland, offered a holistic service to clients that addressed factors contributing to the incidence of fuel poverty through looking at household income and the energy efficiency of housing. The aim was to reduce the impact of fuel costs and the impact on health that living in inadequately heated homes can produce. Partnership staff were employed to develop and deliver a pipeline approach to tackling fuel poverty in Orkney in order that the appropriate support and delivery plan could be created. The project has helped to benefit fuel poor households, in particular those most vulnerable households that are historically hard to engage by fostering a collective community responsibility to identify and refer households during the first stage of the pipeline process.

Area Based Schemes (ABS): The Energy Agency, NHS Ayrshire and Arran, South Ayrshire Council and East Ayrshire Council Evaluation Project[16]

There are known links between cold homes, poor heath and fuel poverty, but very few studies have actually researched the success of schemes in lessening these issues. This study investigates the health and well-being of the occupants of homes which have received wall insulation through the ABS schemes.

Results included an apparent improvement in the overall physical health scores of those who took part and statistically significant[17] improvements when health and aggregated mental health scores were correlated with perceived warmth improvements. There were also anecdotal reports of physical health improvements which the participants linked to the support they had received, including improved respiratory health and pain reduction.



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