Transforming lives through Scotland’s national fuel poverty scheme

At Warmworks, we are committed to making a difference for people, communities, and our planet. This means ensuring our work, and the way we deliver our services maximise value for all our stakeholders and support meaningful and lasting impacts on our customers’ lives.

Warmworks was established in 2015, to deliver the Scottish Government’s national fuel poverty scheme: Warmer Homes Scotland. From the very start we have been focused on making sure our customers, who are some of the most vulnerable people in society, have a person-centred experience with us. We are proud to say we have delivered some exceptional results for customers through the scheme, having supported almost 25,000 customers since 2015, with a 99% satisfaction rate. In those homes we’ve installed over 33,000 energy efficiency measures, and saved people on average £300 per year on their energy bills.

We’ve worked closely with our sub-contractor partners to deliver opportunities for training, upskilling, apprenticeships, and employment in local communities, and to support the transition to Scotland becoming a Net Zero nation, with the opportunities that will bring for local businesses.

Our results make us incredibly proud. However, we know the impacts of fuel poverty can affect all aspects of our customers’ lives, and that they are far reaching in local communities. Schemes like Warmer Homes Scotland can deliver much wider, and longer lasting impacts than these figures can begin to explain. We knew the scheme helped our customers stay warm in their homes and save money on their fuel bills, but our customers also often tell us about the impact of fuel poverty on their overall health and wellbeing.

To gain a deeper understanding of the wider impact of our delivery of the Warmer Homes Scotland scheme on our customers, communities, and our partners, we recently partnered with one of Scotland’s leading social research agencies, Social Value Lab, to undertake some in-depth research on the social impact of the Warmer Homes Scotland scheme.

We have now published an in-depth report, Social Return on Investment of Warmer Homes Scotland 2020/21, which is a leading piece of research examining the multi-faceted impacts of fuel poverty, and the wider social impact of the Warmer Homes Scotland scheme. The research included engagement with over 700 customers who have benefited from support through the scheme, as well as sub-contractors and other stakeholders. Some of the key findings from the report are:

  • More than three quarters of customers said that their health and wellbeing had improved as a result of the service they received from the scheme,
  • Almost 90% of customers reported feeling safer in their homes, thanks to improvements made under the scheme
  • Nearly three in five homes with children found that conditions for doing school or college work had improved following improvements installed under the scheme
  • Thanks to measures installed under the scheme, one third of customers noted that they experienced reduced social isolation.

The scheme benefits local businesses and communities too, with 86% of our supply chain partners reporting better training and upskilling of their workforce, and 90% reporting increased revenue through their involvement with the scheme.

This research is evidence that schemes like Warmer Homes Scotland can play an important role in a just transition to a Net Zero nation, support a green economic recovery, and can make a real and lasting impact on the health and wellbeing of people and communities in Scotland.

At Warmworks we will continue to measure and value our social impact as a key metric of our success and use this knowledge to inform how we deliver and develop our services to maximise our impact in future.

This blog first appeared in Holyrood Magazine in December 2021.

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