A Fife MP is urging young people struggling with fuel poverty to seek help from Fife charity Cosy Kingdom over winter.
The advice from Lesley Laird MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath comes after Scottish Government statistics show over a third of under 35s – around 140,000 households – are living in fuel poverty across the country.
Fuel poverty is defined as spending more than ten per cent of your annual income heating your home.
Lesley Laird said: “When most people conjure up a stereotypical image of fuel poverty, they imagine a pensioner wrapped up in layers of clothes, sitting in front of electric bar fire. While pensioners are certainly affected, fuel poverty also strikes at a staggeringly high number of young households, particularly those in the private rental sector.
“Fuel poverty – often a product of low income, high fuel costs and homes with poor energy efficiency – is a scandal, as is the fact that third sector organisations, such as Cosy Kingdom, are needed to tackle it.
“Labour is campaigning to eradicate fuel poverty through a series of measures: a Mary Barbour law to improve conditions in the private rented sector, building more homes for social rent and bringing energy into public ownership.
“Meanwhile, Fife is incredibly lucky to have the services of Cosy Kingdom, which delivers free and impartial energy and debt advice to help all people save energy, stay warm and save money.”
Cosy Kingdom is partnership between Greener Kirkcaldy, St Andrews Environmental Network and Citizen’s Advice & Rights Fife which has already helped over 5,000 householders reduce their energy use and stay cosy.
“Fuel poverty could affect anyone”, said Bruce McCall, Cosy Kingdom Project Manager, “We offer home energy advice visits to any tenant or homeowner in Fife. An energy advisor can visit you in your home and help you find practical and affordable ways to save energy, understand your energy bills and tariffs, switch supplier, advise on fuel debt and other money problems, and help with Warm Home Discount.
“We can also provide free benefit checks, refer you to a free and impartial debt advisor and offer a Handy Service for those eligible for free energy saving measures such as warm thermal curtains and LED light bulbs.”
If you would like to arrange a home visit, get in touch by texting COSY then YOUR NAME to 88440, calling 01592 858458, emailing email@example.com, visiting Cosy Kingdom’s website:www.cosykingdom.org.uk, or dropping in to Greener Kirkcaldy’s High Street Hub, 254a High Street, Kirkcaldy, KY1 1LA.