Warmworks Scotland: National fuel poverty scheme benefits health, wellbeing and day-to-day lives

Warmworks Scotland has published a new report which shows that the Scottish Government’s national fuel poverty scheme, Warmer Homes Scotland, has had positive benefits on the health, wellbeing and day-to-day living of its customers.

These new findings sit alongside the previously understood positive impacts of the scheme, which include that it has helped customers to live in warmer and more energy-efficient homes, and to save money on their fuel bills.

The report, Social Return on Investment of Warmer Homes Scotland 2020/21, drafted by social impact measurement experts Social Value Lab, is the first of its kind, and is a leading piece of research examining the multi-faceted impacts of fuel poverty.

It also demonstrates how the Warmer Homes Scotland scheme has created positive change at all levels of society: from the customer who directly receives support from the scheme, to the businesses delivering heating improvements, through to the NHS and all the way up to the Scottish Government.

Among the key findings from the report:

  • More than three quarters of Warmer Homes Scotland customers said that their health and wellbeing had improved as a result of the service they received from 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; and
  • Thanks to measures installed under the scheme, one third of customers noted that they experienced reduced social isolation.
  • The scheme is also helping lead the way towards Scotland becoming a Net Zero nation, with more than half of customers (54%) reporting that the service from Warmer Homes Scotland had helped them to lower their carbon emissions.

Additionally, the scheme is helping to create green jobs, and is delivering skills for the workforce of the future, with the report finding that almost 9 in 10 (86%) of the members of the Warmer Homes Scotland supply chain identified that their involvement in the scheme had led to better training or upskilling of their workforce.

Furthermore, half of all supply chain members said they had upskilled to meet the needs of the Warmer Homes Scotland scheme, with training opportunities identified in renewable heating technology, among other areas.

Laura Couper, Warmworks Scotland scheme development manager, said: “We previously understood that the Warmer Homes Scotland scheme helped our customers stay warm in their homes, save money on their fuel bills and improve their energy efficiency.

“This new report from Social Value Lab shows that the benefits of the scheme go even further, and our customers are experiencing better health and wellbeing, and improved day-to-day living thanks to the improvements which the scheme has delivered for them.

“What’s more is that we now also understand that the benefits of the scheme go beyond the customer: their improved health and wellbeing positively impacts our healthcare service, and there are also direct benefits for the Scottish Government.”

She added: “With more than half of our customers reducing their carbon emissions thanks to the measures installed under Warmer Homes Scotland, the scheme is leading the way in helping Scotland to become a Net Zero nation.

“Now that we have a greater understanding of the multi-faceted benefits of the scheme, Warmworks is committed to harnessing and building on this knowledge. We have now secured social pioneer status with Social Value UK, the professional body for social value, and we are determined that at every opportunity, and at every stage in our supply chain, to continue to draw out the maximum social impact of the Warmer Homes Scotland scheme.”

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