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Council teams up with energy advice experts to help residents through the Cost-of-Living Crisis

Posted on 22 Sep 2022

North Ayrshire Council has joined forces with the Energy Agency to ensure residents get the best possible advice and support during the Cost-of-Living Crisis.

The trailblazing partnership is one of the key measures being taken by the Council to help people through the challenging weeks and months ahead.

The Energy Agency is a long and well-established charity whose aims are to reduce energy consumption and promote sustainability. As part of this work, the Energy Agency operates the Home Energy Scotland advice centre in South West Scotland – funded by the Scottish Government - which has many years of experience in providing free and expert advice covering energy saving and efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable transport.

Anyone requiring energy advice is encouraged to call Home Energy Scotland South West free on 0808 808 2282.

Councillor Tony Gurney, Cabinet Member for Economy and Climate Change at North Ayrshire Council, said: “There is no greater priority for us at the moment than supporting people through the financial challenges they are facing.

“No-one is unaffected by the rising costs, increasing inflation and, in particular, the soaring energy bills being experienced at the current time.

“I’m delighted that we are in partnership with the Energy Agency - they have built up years of expertise in offering advice and help on energy issues, helping countless people to lower their bills, and signposting them to other supports to maximise their income.

“It’s more important than ever that people get access to the right advice and I would urge anyone concerned about their energy bills to call the freephone advice line.”

“However, good advice is only part of the Energy Smart approach. That is why we will also be supporting households to install energy-saving features as part of the programme, along with crisis payments for those in the most urgent need of help. Further details on these aspects of the programme will be announced in the coming weeks.”

Liz Marquis, Director of the Energy Agency, said: “We are delighted to be helping householders across North Ayrshire access free independent advice to use energy in the home as effectively as possible. Practical solutions can make a huge difference in the home.”

In addition to the partnership with the Energy Agency, a wider £4million package of support, recently approved by Cabinet, will fund a range of measures to mitigate the rising costs for families.

Two separate Child Bridging Payments of £130 for families of children who are eligible for a free school meal are due to be distributed in October and December. These will be topped up by a further £100 per child for both months. The £100 payment will also be extended to low-income families of children of pre-school age.

Approximately 3,300 families across North Ayrshire (5,700 children) are in line to receive the payment.

The measures also include proposals to build on the existing community food network by investing a further £500,000 to ensure basic food provision is available to anyone who requires the support.