Third of Scots households ‘suffering from energy fuel poverty’

One Big SwitchA survey of over 11,000 Scottish consumers has found that more than one in three Scottish households are suffering from fuel poverty.

The survey was taken by households who have joined the Big Energy Switch campaign, a Scotland-wide people power campaign to cut the cost of electricity and gas in Scotland.

Fuel poverty is defined as a household spending more than 10 per cent of their household income on energy, and is a statistical measure that proves energy prices are too high. A total of 32 per cent of survey respondents meet, or exceed, the basic definition of fuel poverty. However when you break down the household data, many far exceed the basic definition.

  • 14 per cent spend 10-15 per cent of their household income on energy (Basic Fuel Poverty)
  • 10 per cent spend 16-20 per cent of their household income on energy (Severe Fuel Poverty)
  • 8 per cent spend over 20 per cent of their household income on energy (Extreme Fuel Poverty).
  • The campaign believes the statistics put beyond doubt the fact that Scotland is gripped by an energy price rise crisis, and suggest that deep and far ranging energy reform is needed.

    Fuel poverty in Scotland has been rising significantly in recent years due to the fact that since 2003 energy prices have risen four times faster than household incomes.

    Group switching campaigns like the Big Energy Switch Scotland can help reduce energy prices, but these statistics suggests structural government led reform is also needed.

    Campaign director Michael Stewart said: “This survey highlights the huge level of financial strain spiralling energy prices are placing on household budgets in Scotland. The fact that 1 in 3 households are now in fuel poverty means much more needs to be done to help families meet the ever rising cost of energy bills.

    “Sometimes it takes cold hard statistics like these to remind us that community concern about rising energy prices is not just the usual billing gripes, this is real crisis for many hard working families that simply cannot make ends meet with energy prices this high.”

    Joining the Big Energy Switch is entirely cost-free and obligation-free. Consumers who wish to sign up can visit

    Registration closes midnight on 5 June 2015.


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