Over a third of Scottish households remain in fuel poverty despite slight fall

Domestic-energy-use--fuel povertyThe number of Scottish households in fuel poverty fell by around 15,000 between 2013 and 2014 but still represents 34.9 per cent of all households, according to a new report.

A briefing update from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe), estimated that there were 845,000 households living in fuel poverty in Scotland in 2014.

A household is considered to be in fuel poverty if it is required to spend more than 10 per cent of its disposable income (including housing benefit or income support for mortgage interest) on all household fuel use.

The briefing found that fuel poverty rates vary across Scotland with Eilean Siar, Highland and Orkney Islands witnessing fuel poverty rates of 50 per cent or over, whilst most Central Belt areas show rates of below 40 per cent.

Norman Kerr, director of fuel poverty charity Energy Action Scotland, said: “Far too many people across Scotland are worried about affording their energy bills or are simply cold at home.

“Local and national government must make resources available to get advice and other support.”

The Scottish Government has pledged to ensure that by November 2016, so far as is reasonably practicable, people are not living in fuel poverty in Scotland.

In June 2015 in announced that improving the energy efficiency of buildings in Scotland will be designated a national infrastructure priority.

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