Deeside Councillor Raises Fuel Poverty Concerns

>> 16 September 2013

Aboyne, Upper Deeside & Donside SNP councillor Geva Blackett has raised concerns about council and other tenants finding themselves victims of fuel poverty as a result of using Exhaust Air Heat Pump heating systems.

The councillor was speaking during a discussion on fuel poverty at Thursday’s meeting of Aberdeenshire Council’s Social Work & Housing Committee. Councillor Blackett had been approached by constituents who said they were finding this type of heating system to be inflexible and expensive and asked officials about the suitability of the system for council houses and whether advice was being issued to Registered Social Landlords (RSLs).

Of the 32 local authorities in Scotland, Aberdeenshire has fuel poverty percentage of 38% for private sector housing. From 2010 to 2013, Aberdeenshire Council was awarded Scottish Government Funding through the Universal Home Insulation Scheme totalling £2,220,000. This has enabled over 6,000 energy efficiency measures to be installed to households in Aberdeenshire. The measures installed should cut average household energy bills by over £396,000 a year and by around £15,846,000 over the forty year lifetime of the insulation

Commenting, Cllr Blackett said:

"Upgrading the housing stock with modern heating systems is something to be welcomed. However, we need to make sure we're fitting the right system in every circumstance.

“I am concerned that these systems are not best suited to this area and that in consequence, some of my constituents who have this as their only source of heating will be in danger of experiencing fuel poverty."

"Following specific concerns being expressed to me by constituents, I have sought specific reassurances from the Council's Head of Housing. I am pleased that he has agreed to pursue these issues with the housing association concerned."

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