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Fuel poverty fightback

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
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Fuel poverty fightback

HOUSEHOLDERS at risk of fuel poverty across Dumfries and Galloway are set for a helping hand to cut energy bills.

A huge programme of works are being lined up which will see properties upgraded with energy efficiency measures, including solid wall insulation.

The Scottish Government has allocated Dumfries and Galloway Council nearly £2.4m as part of its Energy Efficient Scotland area-based scheme.

This government scheme aims to assist homeowners, as well as people living in the private-rented sector, by providing measures that will help reduce energy usage and costs.

The matter is due to be discussed at the council’s economy and resources committee next Tuesday where councillors will be asked to agree spending the cash on solid wall insulation in the central, east and west of the region.

The report states: “Area 1, central Dumfries and Galloway – this area will be a continued project targeting streets which extend the current Lochside Project and a previous project in the Lincluden area.

“This area is within the bottom ten per cent of the SIMD (Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation) for income, health and employment.

“Over 50 per cent of the working population are also classed as being income deprived.”

Area two is the east of the region and focuses on Eastriggs. The aim will be to install external wall insulation (EWI) to a mix of hard-to-treat cavity properties there.

The third project will continue focusing on streets in Stranraer that were previously identified.

The Fuel Poverty Scotland Act 2019 defines a household to be in fuel poverty if more than ten per cent of its net income (after housing costs) is required to heat the home and pay for other fuel costs, with not enough money left for a decent standard of living.

If more than 20 per cent of net income is needed, the household is defined as being in extreme fuel poverty.

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