ScottishPower said that, since the trust was established, with an initial GBP1 million investment, it has committed over GBP1.3 million to 32 projects in Scotland and assisted over 60,000 individuals who are living in fuel poverty. People described as living in fuel poverty are those who spend more than 10% of their income on energy bills.

ScottishPower made the announcement at an event to raise awareness of fuel poverty, which was attended by MSPs from across Scotland and representatives from Scottish projects that have benefited from the trust since its launch in 2006.

Scotland’s deputy first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said: It’s encouraging to see energy companies like ScottishPower recognize that there are many families and vulnerable people suffering from fuel poverty in this country and addressing the issue through a charity like the ScottishPower Energy People Trust. Offering financial assistance to organizations, and in turn individuals, is a very important step in alleviating fuel poverty.

Ann Loughrey, ScottishPower’s head of external business and community relations and the Energy People Trust’s company secretary, added: Over two million households across the UK suffer from fuel poverty which brings misery to the lives of those affected. This is why we commissioned independent research on how to help eliminate the issue.

The results showed that it would have a greater impact if funds were directed to organizations that work at grassroots level to eradicate fuel poverty, which is why we decided to set up the trust, Ms Loughrey concluded.