A new £140,000 energy advisor programme aimed at supporting vulnerable households and helping reduce fuel poverty in the north of Scotland has been launched.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), which is fully funding the initiative and providing training and support on energy issues to advisors, have joined forces with Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) for the year-long project.

They have chosen Citizens Advice Bureaux (CABs) in the Shetland, Western Isles, South West Aberdeenshire and East and Central Sutherland to receive funding, with four specialist energy advisors to be recruited this month.

They represent a wide geographic coverage with high levels of fuel poverty.

The support provided will include energy efficiency advice, referrals to the Warm Home Discount Scheme, supplier switching advice, referrals to Home Energy Scotland for loans, grants and incentives as well as benefits check and referring eligible customers to SSEN’s Priority Services Register.

Colin Nicol, Managing Director at SSEN said: “Addressing the issue of fuel poverty is something that will require continued collaboration and co-ordination and at SSEN, we are determined to play our part. I’m delighted to be able to launch this partnership and look forward to working closely with Citizens Advice Scotland to ensure the most vulnerable receive effective and impartial energy advice.

“Although providing advice may seem like a small step, the benefits that can be unlocked for the most vulnerable are significant. I’ve every confidence that by working in partnership with CAS, we can help those in fuel poverty access the critical support and assistance they require.”