Scottish Government Press Release
The definition of fuel poverty is to be reviewed to ensure help is targeted at those who need it most.
This is one of over 100 recommendations, made in two reports published today, to address the issue of fuel poverty which will now be considered in full by Ministers.
The Scottish Fuel Poverty Strategic Working Group and Scottish Rural Fuel Poverty Task Force reports were published alongside a Scottish Government research paper on the likelihood of being fuel poor in rural Scotland. This is to help identify and target households in rural Scotland who have a high risk of being in fuel poverty.
The Strategic Working Group has made 4 high level recommendations, including that a new, community-based approach to tackling fuel poverty is developed. The Group has also concluded that the current definition of fuel poverty may be impeding efforts to target those most in need. It has therefore recommended that an independent academic review be commissioned to ensure that help is targeted at those who need it.
Read the full press release here.
In response to the publication of the report, and the statement from the Scottish Government, Scottish Land & Estates has issued the following comment:
Scottish Land & Estates has welcomed the recommendations of two new reports published today which examine measures needed to address fuel poverty in Scotland.
The organisation, which represents rural businesses, farms and landowners across the country, was a member of the Rural Fuel Poverty Task Force which delivered its report today to coincide with the findings of the Scottish Fuel Poverty Strategic Working Group.
More than 100 recommendations have been made by the two groups to Scottish Ministers who will now consider the conclusions as part of their strategy to eliminate fuel poverty.
Katy Dickson, Senior Policy Officer (Business, Property and Connectivity) at Scottish Land & Estates, said: “Those living in rural areas are often the most adversely affected by fuel poverty and there is clearly a need for government, agencies and stakeholders to work together in order to tackle this continuing problem.
“We welcome these reports as a good basis for clear action to help those struggling with fuel poverty. The Strategic Working Group states that the new fuel poverty strategy ‘must also go beyond improving energy performance of homes and put emphasis on the other three drivers of fuel poverty - income, energy costs and how energy is used in the home.’
“This, alongside, the Rural Fuel Poverty Task Force’s emphasis on ‘rural-proofing’ the strategy, ensuring people living in off-gas, older properties are not disadvantaged, are strongly supported.
“Dormont Estate in Lockerbie, one of our members, was a case study for the Strategic Working Group who witnessed what the estate has achieved for local residents through its Passivhaus development. This has been a remarkable success and whilst action needs to be taken to tackle fuel efficiency on homes which are already built, there is much to be achieved by sharing the best practice established through new housing such as that at Dormont.
“Our Helping It Happen campaign showcases a number of innovative approaches that our members are taking to addressing fuel poverty and we want to see more and more examples of this across Scotland.”