Drive to tackle fuel poverty

Published on Monday, 13 August 2012 11:06
Written by Scott Buckler

Improving energy efficiency in Scotland's households will help to reduce fuel poverty, according to two Scottish Government reports published today

Findings from the Fuel Poverty Evidence Review state that approximately 658,000 households in Scotland are fuel poor – the result of rising fuel prices, an ageing population, and a growing number of single person homes.

The report also suggests that this figure could be cut if more households take measures to improve their energy efficiency rating and if the UK Government takes stronger action to regulate energy markets.

Over the past three years, the Scottish Government has helped thousands of households to become more energy efficient.

According to a second report – Energy Use in the Home – 62,000 homes benefited from loft insulation, 25,000 had cavity wall insulation installed and over 54,000 were referred for new central heating systems and insulation under the Scottish Government's Home Insulation and Universal Home Insulation Schemes between 2009/10 and 2011/12.

Households can save from between £175 per year by installing loft insulation up to £280 per year if cavity wall insulation is carried out too.

Alex Neil, Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment, said:

"Scotland is an energy rich nation and no-one should have to choose between heating and eating. That is why we are continuing to lobby the UK Government to take a firmer stance with energy companies – encouraging them to cut their prices in order to help boost household incomes.

"The Scottish Government has a raft of measures in place to support families most in need, and has allocated a £65 million budget to tackle fuel poverty and improve energy efficiency in 2012/13.

"We have also been working hard to ensure we maximise the level of Carbon Emission Reduction Target (CERT) investment by energy suppliers. New figures released by Energy Saving Trust last week show that 433,326 professional cavity wall and loft insulation measures were installed in Scotland between April 2008 and end March 2012.

"Many CERT funded loft and cavity insulations are carried out though the Scottish Government initiatives, such as the Universal Home Insulation Scheme and the Energy Assistance Package.  These initiatives help to boost the number of Scottish households that get help with energy efficiency."

Source: ©Scottish Government

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