Up to 10,000 extra Scottish households will be given free help to cut their energy bills this winter, Nicola Sturgeon said yesterday.
The Deputy First Minister has allocated a further £6 million to install energy efficiency measures, such as loft and cavity insulation into Scottish homes.
This will allow individual householders to apply for £500 vouchers to contribute to the cost of new energy efficiency measures in their properties.
Ms Sturgeon said: “With temperatures dropping and colder weather beginning to bite, households across Scotland will be worrying about their winter energy bills.
“Solid action is absolutely imperative. That is why we have ploughed an additional £6 million into providing up to 10,000 households with free insulation that will make their homes warmer and cheaper to heat and invested millions into a cash back voucher scheme that is due to go live later this week.
“This is the kind of vital help which can make a real difference to those struggling to make ends meet and demonstrates we will do whatever we can within devolved powers to tackle fuel poverty.
“Anyone looking for help with their heating bills can contact our Home Energy Scotland Hotline on 0800 512 012 for further assistance.”
The £6 million funding is for the Universal Home Insulation Scheme (UHIS) - an initiative administered by local authorities.
Ms Sturgeon continued: “We all need to work together to tackle fuel poverty. Local authorities have been extremely effective at administering these schemes and I welcome their positive approach. I hope again that they will be able to deliver maximum results with this extra money.
“But our efforts are being held back by punishing price rises imposed by energy companies. The UK Government – who has responsibility for this area - is simply not doing enough to regulate the market, and this has to change urgently.”