Scotland launches a 20-year vision to eradicate fuel poverty

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A 20-year vision to eradicate fuel poverty in Scotland has been published today.

The Fuel Poverty Strategy sets out policies and proposals for national government, local authorities and third sector partners to help meet the targets set out in the Fuel Poverty (Targets, Definition and Strategy) (Scotland) Act 2019 and meet the Scottish Government’s commitment to eradicate fuel poverty ‘as far as reasonably possible’ by 2040.

These include:

  • Maximising the benefit of our heat in buildings investment programmes to support people in or at risk of fuel poverty to make their homes warmer and cheaper to heat
  • Driving up energy efficiency standards through regulation, delivering a new Housing Standard and a review of energy efficiency standards in social housing;
  • Pressing the UK Government to change their approach to the operation of energy markets to provide effective, flexible support for fuel poor households;
  • Ensuring all households in fuel poverty have access to high-quality, impactful advice;
  • Providing targeted support for those unable to afford the energy they need, those who need greater warmth, and those facing specific barriers to getting out of fuel poverty.

Michael Matheson, Net Zero, Energy and Transport Secretary, commented: “A safe, warm place to call home is one of our fundamental basic needs.

“But despite Scotland being a wealthy, prosperous nation, fuel poverty persists – driven by a complex range of factors including poor energy efficiency of the home, low household income, high energy prices and transmission charges and how energy is used in the home.

“That is why this Government is committed to tackling the root causes of fuel poverty by publishing the Fuel Poverty Strategy, putting people at the heart of Scotland’s transition to net zero.

“Over the last eight years, we have spent £1 billion on tackling fuel poverty – with £114 million allocated this year alone on our programmes targeted at improving energy efficiency for those in fuel poverty.

“And as part of our Heat in Buildings programme, we are making available at least £1.8 billion over this parliament to help decarbonise our buildings so that homes are warmer and cheaper to heat helping to ensure that poor energy efficiency is removed as a driver of fuel poverty.”

In addition, Scottish Ministers have appointed a new statutory Scottish Fuel Poverty Advisory Panel to monitor and evaluate the Strategy and provide expert advice to government.

The Panel will be chaired by consumer champion Matthew Cole, who leads the independent Fuel Bank Foundation with the Trussell Trust.

‘Tackling Fuel Poverty in Scotland: A Strategic Approach’ is available on the Scottish Government website.