Oban company awarded place on first-of-its-kind energy advice contract

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Nine Scottish SMEs – including an Oban company – have been awarded a place on Scotland Excel’s new Energy Advice Framework for services that will help people who live in fuel poverty.

This is the first time a national, public sector contract has been put in place for the delivery of face-to-face energy advice for people in communities across Scotland.

The contract will give councils and housing associations quick and easy access to companies that can provide bespoke energy advice to tenants and residents to help them make savings on their bills.

Argyll, Lomond and the Islands Energy Agency (ALIenergy), an SME based in Oban, is among the list of suppliers that now have the chance to secure a share of the framework’s business.

John Shaw, convener of Scotland Excel, said: ‘I welcome the launch of the new Energy Advice Framework which will help to alleviate fuel poverty and reduce carbon emissions. This is a unique approach in Scotland as it’s the first time a national framework for face-to-face energy advice has been put in place for the local government sector.

‘This is good news for citizens as it gives councils and housing associations easy access to a range of specialist energy advice companies that are ready to offer support out in communities. Councils can use energy grant funding and their own resources to source advice services through our framework.

‘Current Energy Action Scotland figures say 24 per cent of Scottish households are fuel poor, and we’re therefore pleased to give the local government and social housing sectors access to Scottish companies who are ready to work one-to-one with residents in their homes.

‘The framework is also good for business, as all nine suppliers that have been awarded a place are Scottish SMEs – one of which is a social enterprise. It will also bring value for money for the public purse, with all nine companies committed to fixed pricing for 24 months.’

Services offered through the framework include advocacy advice with utility companies, making sure metering issues are dealt with, working with householders on the best heating regimes, advising on efficiency measures, and ensuring householders are on the best tariff.

The framework will complement the existing national Home Energy Scotland telephone advisory service run by the Energy Saving Trust.

Framework suppliers are: Argyll, Lomond and the Islands Energy Agency, small business based in Oban; Changeworks Resources for Life, medium business based in Edinburgh; Energy Agency, medium business based in Ayr; Greener Kirkcaldy Ltd, small business based in Kirkcaldy; MPC Energy Ltd, micro business based in Clydebank; Scarf, medium business based in Aberdeen; Social Enterprise Direct, small business and social enterprise based in Glasgow; The Wise Group, medium business based in Glasgow; and Tighean Innse Gall, small business based in Stornoway.