An investment by the Scottish Government in the Home Energy Efficiency Programme for Scotland, while welcomed, has been branded as an insufficient sum by Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray and Dumfries & Galloway MP Russell Brown.
The Scottish Government have provided Dumfries & Galloway Council with £1.7 million to help fuel poor and vulnerable households with energy efficiency improvements such as solid wall, cavity and loft insulation.
However, over 40% of households in some parts of Dumfries & Galloway are in fuel poverty and 63% of people over 60 in Dumfries & Galloway are in fuel poverty.
New figures have also revealed that almost 1 million households or 2 million individuals in Scotland are living in fuel poverty. This is an increase of almost 300,000 on the previous year.
Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray said:
“As winter bites, the money the Scottish Government have provided Dumfries & Galloway Council to help improve energy efficiency is obviously welcome. However, with over 40% of households in some parts of our region living in fuel poverty the money isn’t going to go a long way. The SNP would do well to back Labour's plan for an energy price freeze while we reform the energy market.”
Dumfries & Galloway MP Russell Brown added:
“Any investment in home energy efficiency is welcome. However with so many households in fuel poverty, including 63% of older people in Dumfries & Galloway, I fear the little money the Scottish Government has provided will fail to make a big difference to the many people in Dumfries & Galloway who are going to struggle to pay their bills this winter. In this day and age, families shouldn’t be forced to make the choice between heating and eating.”