Cash to help with fuel bills

The team at Greener Kirkcaldy
The team at Greener Kirkcaldy

People struggling with fuel poverty in Burntisland and Kinghorn will be able to receive energy advice and help with bills after a local project was given a cash boost.

Greener Kirkcaldy’s Fife Healthy Heating Network project has been awarded £177,154 from the Big Lottery to support vulnerable households reduce their fuel bills.

As a result of the funding, the team can now expand their home energy advice service in Kirkcaldy to cover surrounding areas like Kinghorn, Burntisland and Levenmouth.

Greener Kirkcaldy, which is based in the High Street, will share the funding with St Andrews Environmental Network, Citizen’s Advice & Rights Fife (CARF) and Fife Council’s Fuel Poverty Office to help vulnerable people stay warm and get their heating bills under control next year.

Suzy Goodsir, project manager, told The Press they were really pleased their funding bid had been successful: “We are delighted to have received this award from the Big Lottery to extend our energy advice project.

“We’ve run a home energy advice service in Kirkcaldy since 2010 and we’re delighted to be able to expand that now to serve other parts of Fife.

“We get a lot of requests from people outside the town wanting our energy advisers to speak to them, but we haven’t had enough money to be able to extend the service.

“It’s been fine for people who are able to come in to the advice shop here, but it’s easier to explain to someone how they can save energy by visiting them in their homes.

“The St Andrews Environmental Network offer a similar service to ours to people in the North East and we will be able to work with CARF by referring people to them to receive help with budgeting and money advice. In turn they can refer people to us for energy advice.”

Suzy said the funding will not only allow them to extend the project, but it will also allow them to recruit a sixth energy advisor in the new year.

Lisa Farrell, Greener Kirkcaldy senior development worker, said the home energy advice project in Kirkcaldy has proven to be very successful.

She said the scheme is monitored by carrying out follow up phone calls and visits, as well as taking meter readings to ensure money is being saved on fuel bills.

She added: “This funding is great news and we are looking forward to being able to give energy advice to people in other areas, particularly in Kinghorn and Burntisland, who have been asking for the service.”