A Fairer Scotland should mean no fuel poverty

Energy Action Scotland contribution to the discussion on a Fairer Scotland

- No-one should have to live in a cold, damp home

As 2015 draws to a close, the weather has turned cold and as a consequence many people have turned on their heating at home and put on the lights during the day to ward off the gloom.  But for a significant number of people in Scotland, this just isn’t possible.

In this month of December 2015, a new statistical report has been published by the Scottish Government showing that in the last year around 35 per cent of Scottish households were living in fuel poverty.

Stripping away the statistical language about methodology and energy ratings, what the findings actually mean is that far too many people are worrying about being cold at home and feeling they just can’t afford to turn the heating on or to cook a hot meal.

This is a sad fact of life in Scotland today.  All political parties agree it shouldn’t be like this.  The ways to change it are known and have been shown to be working, that is, make homes more energy efficient, make domestic energy more affordable and ensure everyone has a sufficient income.

But achieving this is harder than it first appeared when the Housing (Scotland) Act, back in 2001, placed a duty on the Scottish Government to end fuel poverty by November 2016, just one year from now.

A fairer Scotland would be one in which no-one had to choose between heating and eating.

A new fuel poverty strategy with costs and timelines needs to be developed by the Scottish Government.

Let’s have a discussion now about setting out a plan for making this happen.

Energy Action Scotland is the national charity working for an end to cold, damp homes due to fuel poverty: www.eas.org.uk

Why the contribution is important

Official figures show that around a third of Scottish households are in fuel poverty.  This means they can't afford to heat their homes to an adequate standard and may result in debt, poor health and misery.  Making homes more energy efficient through insulation, decent heating, efficient appliances and giving advice on using energy wisely can all help to solve the problem.

by EASPR on December 17, 2015 at 12:51PM

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  • Posted by Stevep February 04, 2016 at 15:07

    Fuel poverty exists within the owner occupied sector - but those people often have the least access to reliable information on improving their homes. There is a lot of distrust of the building trades due to poor quality, percieved high prices etc. Is there a role for councils through building standards to offer an advice service direct to homeowners on the true costs and feasibility of undertaking such work.

  • Posted by Stevep February 04, 2016 at 15:09

    Much of the energy efficiency schemes offered by energy companies have concentrated on easy fixes like roll out loft insulation, and cavity wall insulation - but a large percentage of our existing housing stock is formed by solid wall construction (either stone built or brick).

    The occupiers of solid wall buildings have been wholly ignored by schemes so far except for a fortunate few who have benefitted from council house renovations
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