In response to the UK Government’s Energy Bills Discount Scheme, SCVO Chief Executive Anna Fowlie said:
“While we are pleased that the Energy Bill Discount Scheme will continue to support charities at the same level as businesses, we are disappointed that the level of support will fall, and worried about the implications for Scotland’s voluntary sector. An overall reduction in support from £18.4billion over six months to £5.4bn over 12 months, combined with a tightening of eligibility criteria, could have disastrous consequences.
“We know that voluntary organisations across the country are under huge pressures due to rising costs, and that the difficulties of sourcing income to meet these rises can lead to concerns about ongoing viability, regardless of the size of the organisation or the levels of energy use. We must therefore find solutions that are accessible across the sector.
“We are calling on Scottish Government to reopen their Electricity and Natural Gas framework agreements to voluntary organisations, providing access to more reasonable prices through bulk purchase of energy.
“Together with our partners in NCVO, we are also calling on the UK government to recognise the particular challenges faced by high-energy use voluntary organisations such as hospices, refuges, social care and community leisure providers, and for government to work together with the sector on long term solutions to the energy crisis.”