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MAJOR STEP TOWARDS CENTRAL HEATING FOR ALL PENSIONERS

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A new contractor has been appointed to administer the Scottish executive's central heating programme for pensioners...
A new contractor has been appointed to administer the Scottish executive's central heating programme for pensioners in the private sector.

Last September, the Scottish executive announced a scheme to install free central heating for all pensioners and all social tenants across Scotland in the next five years.

Minister for social justice, Jackie Baillie today announced the appointment of Eaga Partnership Ltd to manage the private sector part of the five-year programme.

Ms Baillie said:

'We want to deliver central heating to those who do not have it as soon as possible to ensure that we improve living conditions, reduce fuel bills, and promote good health.

'I am therefore delighted to announce the arrangements for delivering the central heating programme for pensioners who own their own homes or rent from a private landlord.

'We are committed to investing almost£50m over the next three years to ensure that the over-60s in Scotland have central heating, insulation, energy advice and a benefit entitlement check.'

Eaga will shortly be sending application forms to over 5,000 households who have already registered an interest in the Programme. Works will begin as soon as possible.

Anyone who thinks they might be eligible should phone Eaga free on 0800 072 0150, or write to them at: Eaga Partnership Ltd, Freepost, SCO 4421, Edinburgh, EH6 0BR. A new leaflet will be issued shortly and distributed widely.

Ms Baillie concluded:

'Together with our contractor, Eaga, we will ensure that many of these households are freed from fuel poverty. We will tackle cold and damp houses, cold-related illness and excess winter deaths. I am confident that in a few years time the lives of Scotland's most vulnerable households will have been transformed.'

Eaga have also been appointed to continue to administer the Warm Deal.

BACKGROUND

1. The Scottish executive's central heating programme will provide free central heating to an estimated 40,000 private sector homes where the householder is aged 60 or over who lacks a central heating system or has a system which is wholly beyond repair.

2. The contract for management of the central heating programme in the private sector was awarded in accordance with EU public procurement rules). Eaga Partnership were selected, following strong competition, on the basis of value for money and ability to deliver. Eaga is a UK leader with a strong track record in administering grant schemes to improve home energy efficiency.

3. The contract also includes management of the executive's 'warm deal'. Eaga Partnership are already responsible for managing that scheme on the executive's behalf and under this new contract will continue to do so for a further five years. The Warm Deal is a Scottish executive scheme which improves home energy efficiency through a£500 package of insulation measures for households wholly or mainly dependent on state benefit and pensioners.

4. The aims of both programmes are to tackle fuel poverty; reduceCO2 emissions; protect health; protect the condition of the housing stock and provide employment opportunities for those taking part in the New Deal.

5. The£2,500 package offered under the central heating programme will provide:

a central heating system;

loft, tank and pipe insulation, cavity wall insulation, and draughtproofing, in each case where appropriate;

advice on how to use the heating system and on best use of energy and budgeting;

a carbon monoxide detector (except where the heating system is electric); a mains linked smoke detector and a cold alarm

6. Eaga Partnership Ltd have been involved in the provision of energy efficiency measures since 1991, when it was established to run the Home Energy efficiency Scheme throughout the UK. The company's head office is in Newcastle, but delivery of the Central Heating Programme and the Warm Deal will be managed from their office in Edinburgh. Potential applicants can find out more about either programme by contacting:

Eaga Partnership Ltd

Freepost

SCO 4421

Edinburgh

EH6 0BR

Or by calling them on freephone number -0800 072 0150.

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