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Support for energy efficiency
A service that provides face-to-face support for householders on all aspects of microgeneration and energy efficiency installation is to be extended.
Communities Minister Stewart Maxwell said 10 advisers will offer hands-on support as part of the £500,000 Energy Saving Scotland Home Help service.
Advisers carry out home visits, surveys, assistance with planning applications and follow up support once the technology has been installed.
Mr Maxwell made the announcement as he launched the Strathclyde and Central Energy Saving Scotland advice centre. It is part of a network of advice centres delivering a range of sustainable energy advice services, including Home Help.
Mr Maxwell said:
"As we enter the cold winter months, there has never been a greater need to improve the energy performance of Scotland's homes.
"High fuel prices are putting real pressure upon household budgets and more and more are falling into fuel poverty.
"Alleviating the effects of rising energy prices is the Government's priority - intensifying work on energy efficiency is therefore a key action in the Government's economic recovery plan.
"Demand for Home Help has been so high that we are accelerating the roll out this year by doubling the number of advisers.
"We want to see delivery of information and invaluable advice for Scottish householders, community organisations and small businesses.
"The Energy Saving Scotland advice network will play a key role in the delivery of the Energy Assistance Package as they will be the first point of call for all fuel poor customers.
"This new one stop shop approach is making it easier for consumers to get the right advice on a range of sustainable energy issues from a single, trusted source.
"The Energy Assistance Package will improve on the existing fuel poverty programmes by reaching more people, providing a wider range of support in one integrated package, and begin to tackle rural fuel poverty much more effectively than before."
The £500,000 Energy Saving Scotland Home Help service aims to support 1,000 clients a year to find suitable energy efficiency and microgeneration solutions.
Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon announced on November 19, 2008 that the new Energy Assistance Package, which was the central recommendation of the Scottish Fuel Poverty Forum, will replace the Central Heating and Warm Deal programmes in a drive to tackle all aspects of fuel poverty, not just energy efficiency.
The Energy Saving Scotland advice network is funded by the Scottish Government and managed by the Energy Saving Trust. It consists of five centres based throughout Scotland delivering advice to consumers and small businesses on a range of sustainable energy issues including energy efficiency, renewables and personal transport. Advice can be obtained by calling 0800 512 012.