A new programme helping households across Dundee who are facing fuel poverty as a result of the coronavirus pandemic has launched in the city.
The Fuel Well Dundee programme will support people on a low income whether they are in or out of work, on reduced incomes as a result of the virus, or are already experiencing fuel poverty.
People may have issues such as inadequate heating systems or inadequate home insulation that is causing high energy bills, or they may be struggling with other financial or coronavirus related issues.
The scheme can help with top up payments of between £40- £100 if certain criteria are met, as well as short, medium and longer-term support from fuel advisers and welfare rights advisers.
Other areas of advice can include energy advice, a benefits check, as well as debt advice, and where appropriate; consideration of referral for Discretionary Hardship Payments or to the council’s Hardship fund; and crisis grants and community care grants advice.
Leader of Dundee City Council John Alexander said: “Winter is a difficult time for many people as they have some really tough financial choices to make as the temperature drops.
“This has been made so much worse this year by the effects on households of the pandemic, including reduced incomes or increased costs as a result of working from home.
“That’s why the council and its partners have created Fuel Well Dundee to discuss with people what types of support are available to help them with their specific fuel poverty needs.”
Gabriel Calvert from local charity Making Dundee Home said: “The service is fast and the staff are very supportive. The money provided allows people to stay warm, cook and take care of themselves.
“Hopefully the additional support provided will make a real difference in people’s lives.”
The programme, which is run by the council alongside SCARF, who are part of the Home Energy Scotland network, can be accessed via the council website, or through referral by a partner organisation.