Orkney Islands Council encourages residents to make use of £1.5m initiative


ORKNEY Islands Council has highlighted the help available for local householders via the Scottish Government’s HEEPS:ABS scheme.

The initiative was launched to help improve the energy efficiency of homes. Around £1.5 million of funding is currently available in Orkney, with up to £10,000 available per applicant.

In August of 2020, the local authority appointed Edinburgh-based Warmworks to manage the scheme on the island. The firm has been working in Orkney since 2015 as the managing agent of the Scottish Government’s national fuel poverty scheme.

Luke Fraser, team leader (policy and planning) for Orkney Islands Council’s housing team, said, “This is the seventh year of HEEPS:ABS in Orkney and while the programme has been very successful and helped over 600 households, Orkney still has one of the highest fuel poverty rates in the United Kingdom.

“That’s why we’d urge people to find out if they can benefit from this scheme.“

“Anecdotally we understand there may be concerns in the community about having work carried out in your home during the current covid-19 situation.

“So in addition to reminding people about the scheme, we’d like to reassure people that all works are carried out to strict covid safety guidelines.

“We hope that the expansion of the scheme to include modern storage heaters as an option after installation of basic insulation measures will be of interest to folk as a low invasive, straightforward upgrade to their current old storage heaters.”

Warmworks’ managing director, Ross Armstrong, said, “We’re committed to helping people and families in Orkney feel warmer in their homes without having to worry so much about the cost. If you’re struggling to keep warm, give us a call and we’ll take it from there. No one should have to live in a cold home and Warmworks is here to help.”