Glasgow residents aged 80 and over are being urged to apply for their annual £100 Affordable Warmth Dividend.
For a fifth year, Glasgow City Council is offering older city residents money to help heat their homes during the winter.
Since the council introduced the dividend in November 2011, almost 70,000 payments have been awarded totalling £7 million to help older Glaswegians stay warm as temperatures plummet. This year an estimated 3000 residents will qualify for the first time.
Offering the Affordable Warmth Dividend to elderly citizens is one element of the council's People Make Glasgow Fairer anti-poverty campaign that targets vulnerable groups in the city.
This coupled with the work the council delivers through the Home Energy Efficiency Programme for Scotland: Area Based Schemes (HEEPS:ABS) looks to tackle fuel poverty in the city.
More than £60 million has been invested in Glasgow delivering energy efficiency measures to almost 9,000 households (4,400 owner-occupiers, 4,500 social tenants). This includes £24million HEEPS:ABS, Energy Company Obligation (ECO) funding, investment from housing associations, owners contributions and private sector funding.
In addition to tackling fuel poverty this work helps to reduce our carbon emissions, save energy and upgrade the city's housing stock.
Leader of Glasgow City Council, Councillor Frank McAveety saw for himself some of the HEEPS:ABS funded work, during a visit to Wellhouse Housing Association in Easterhouse.
There he met Charlie Harris, who at 81 will be applying for this year's Affordable Warmth Dividend. His home has also recently had external wall insulation fitted under the HEEPS:ABS scheme.
Councillor Frank McAveety, said: "Too many Glaswegians struggle to heat their homes adequately and our elderly citizens are most at risk.
"That's why I am delighted the city council can continue to help residents over the age of 80 to keep warm without worrying about how they can afford their heating bills.
"Fuel poverty is based on low incomes, energy inefficient homes and rising fuel prices. Through our work on reducing the impact of poverty we can tackle the first two with a range of measures to make sure people get the benefits that they are entitled to and make sure Glasgow's homes are as energy efficient as possible."
Mr Harris said: "I've applied for the dividend for the past two years and it really does help towards the cost of heating my home when fuel bills are so expensive. Now, with the new external insulation fitted to my block a few months ago I think, I'll really feel the benefit this winter as it'll hopefully be cheaper to heat my house during the cold months."
Glasgow residents who have not received the dividend before and will be 80 years of age or over by 31 March 2017 can get an application form from the council's website www.glasgow.gov.uk/affordablewarmth or by phoning 0141 287 7961.
Those who received the dividend last year will be sent a letter this week advising them it is available again, which they must sign and return.
Anyone the council can identify as eligible from housing benefit records will also receive a letter urging them to apply.
The dividend is not restricted to one per household. If more than one person aged 80 or older lives in the household, each person qualifies for the £100 dividend. Elderly people living in residential care or hospitals can also apply. Applications will be accepted until 31 March 2017.
They can also receive impartial energy tips from Glasgow Home Energy Advice Team (G-HEAT) on 0800 092 9002.
Further information on Glasgow's Affordable Warmth Dividend scheme is available at www.glasgow.gov.uk/affordablewarmth.
1. The Scottish House Condition Survey estimates that approximately 103,000 householders in Glasgow are currently fuel poor where households spend more than 10% of their disposable household income on fuel costs. This equates to approximately 34% of Glasgow's households with approximately 8% of this group in extreme Fuel Poverty i.e. spending more than 20% on fuel costs.
2. The HEEPS:ABS programme funded by the Scottish Government is an area based approach to delivering insulation measures to owner occupied properties, particularly in deprived areas.
3. Wellhouse Housing Association project has seen 32 home owners and 130 social tenants receive retrofitted external insulation to make their home more energy efficient and cheaper to heat.
4. It is anticipated the HEEPS programme will result in significant fuel savings for individual householders. Energy Saving Trust figures estimate that a typical reduction in fuel costs for a property receiving external wall insulation will be between £145 and £455 per year per household depending on the property type
5. The council, through People Make Glasgow Fairer, is also leading on projects to make sure pensioners receive full benefit entitlements to end so called pensioner poverty, developing in-work support guidance for those on low incomes and trialling a service where by the council provides a free phone line, direct to Dept. for Work and Pensions, in libraries, to make lengthy assessment calls easier and cheaper http://povertyleadershippanel.org.uk/ for more information