EAS Reaction to New Fuel Poverty Figures by Local Authority in Scotland

NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE USE

ISSUED DATE: 28 February 2017

EAS Reaction to New Fuel Poverty Figures by Local Authority in Scotland

With wintry weather still gripping the country, the new fuel poverty figures for each local authority in Scotland published today (28 Feb) are significant and the charity Energy Action Scotland say they highlight the scale of the problem which many households face to keep themselves and their families warm at home.

The statistics show the progress being made on tackling the problem of cold, damp homes which people struggle to afford to heat. These figures for the period 2013 to 2015 are published by the Scottish Government based on their Scottish House Condition Survey.

The breakdown of these figures now published show that some local authorities are making more progress than others. For example, Stirling had the biggest drop (5 per cent) in levels of fuel poverty from 34 per cent to 29 per cent. However, Argyll and Bute reported the biggest rise (8 per cent) in fuel poverty from 40 per cent to 48 per cent. Of the 32 local authorities across Scotland, six of them were found to have increased levels of fuel poverty. Overall in Scotland for the same period 2013 to 2015, the average level of fuel poverty was down by 1 per cent to 34 per cent.

The Scottish House Condition Survey, which measures fuel poverty in Scotland, gives an indication of trends in progress. These results can therefore be judged as showing progress overall across the country but with much work still to be done to solve the problem of fuel poverty. All of the local authorities which are showing increases in fuel poverty are rural or have significant rural areas in them.

Fuel poverty is widely recognised as being caused by poor energy efficiency of homes, low incomes and high energy prices. The results are people having to ration the time they have their heating and hot water on and also in making the hard choices between essentials such as buying food or paying for fuel bills.

Scottish Government programmes are working to make a difference and all local authorities are involved in designing and delivering some of this assistance. This year the Scottish Government has pledged to review its fuel poverty strategy and to reset the target to end fuel poverty that expired last autumn.

Norman Kerr, Director of the national fuel poverty charity Energy Action Scotland said: “The figures now published show a patchwork of progress across the country. The majority of local authorities are moving levels of fuel poverty in the right direction. However, others have more work to do to overcome difficult conditions such as helping rural properties that are off the gas grid.

“Without the work being done by local authorities to tackle fuel poverty, the level of the problem would undoubtedly be much worse. The new figures highlight that progress can be made but that more resources are needed, particularly where local conditions are tougher to deal with.

“When the Scottish Government reviews its fuel poverty strategy later this year, it is essential that the important role that local authorities play in tackling fuel poverty has a central place in it and that they are well-resourced for the task.

“The local elections in May are also an opportunity for local representatives to pledge their commitment to ending the scourge of fuel poverty.”

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For further information contact:

Elizabeth Gore, PR Manager, Energy Action Scotland on email: e.gore@eas.org.uk or tel: 0141 226 3064

Background information:

1. Energy Action Scotland is the national charity which campaigns to end fuel poverty and works to promote warm, dry homes for all. Website: www.eas.org.uk

2. There are currently around 748,000 households (30.7 per cent) in fuel poverty in Scotland (source: Scottish House Condition Survey Key Findings Report annual figure for 2015).

3. Fuel poverty is the inability to afford adequate warmth in the home, defined as needing to pay more than 10 per cent of income on energy costs.

4. The main causes of fuel poverty are poor energy efficiency of the home, high domestic fuel prices and low household income.

5. The weblink to the new figures on the Scottish Government website is here: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/SHCS/keyanalyses/LAtables2015

then click on the Fuel Poverty tab at the bottom of the page.

The new figures are reproduced here for 2013-2015 and below are the previous figures for 2012-2014:

2013 – 2015

Aberdeen City

28%

Aberdeenshire

38%

Angus

43%

Argyll and Bute

48%

Clackmannanshire

32%

Dumfries and Galloway

45%

Dundee City

37%

East Ayrshire

38%

East Dunbartonshire

26%

East Lothian

31%

East Renfrewshire

31%

City of Edinburgh

24%

Eilean Siar

59%

Falkirk

25%

Fife

40%

Glasgow City

30%

Highland

56%

Inverclyde

41%

Midlothian

29%

Moray

46%

North Ayrshire

36%

North Lanarkshire

31%

Orkney Islands

65%

Perth and Kinross

37%

Renfrewshire

28%

Scottish Borders

38%

Shetland Islands

52%

South Ayrshire

32%

South Lanarkshire

26%

Stirling

29%

West Dunbartonshire

26%

West Lothian

29%

Scotland

34%

2012 – 2014

Aberdeen City

29%

Aberdeenshire

39%

Angus

42%

Argyll and Bute

40%

Clackmannanshire

32%

Dumfries and Galloway

46%

Dundee City

41%

East Ayrshire

38%

East Dunbartonshire

28%

East Lothian

33%

East Renfrewshire

32%

City of Edinburgh

25%

Eilean Siar

62%

Falkirk

28%

Fife

36%

Glasgow City

34%

Highland

55%

Inverclyde

43%

Midlothian

30%

Moray

40%

North Ayrshire

40%

North Lanarkshire

34%

Orkney Islands

63%

Perth and Kinross

38%

Renfrewshire

29%

Scottish Borders

39%

Shetland Islands

53%

South Ayrshire

35%

South Lanarkshire

30%

Stirling

34%

West Dunbartonshire

29%

West Lothian

29%

Scotland

35%