Scottish House Condition Survey

Scotland’s fuel poverty figures are found in the Scottish House Condition Survey (SHCS). The SHCS is the largest single housing survey undertaken in Scotland and the only national study to look at the physical condition of dwellings as well as interviewing occupiers.

The latest available report covers the period from January to December 2018 and is available here 

The SHCS team also produces local authority reports which give figures for fuel poverty at the local authority level. The most recent figures are for 2016 to 2018.

The latest fuel poverty statistics from the SHCS 2018 report (published January 2020) show that:

  • Fuel poverty in Scotland in 2018 was 619,000 households or 25%
  • The level of extreme fuel poverty recorded in 2018 was 279,000 households or 11.3%. Extreme fuel poverty is defined as requiring more than 20% of income for domestic fuel (this will change when the new definition of fuel poverty comes into effect).
  • The long term trend of improving energy efficiency of the housing stock continues.
  • In 2018, 43% of Scottish homes were rated as EPC band C or better and half had an energy efficiency rating of 67 or higher (SAP 2012 (RdSAP v9.93)).
  • Using SAP 2009 continues to show long-term improvement in the energy efficiency profile of housing. The share of the most energy efficient dwellings (rated C or better) increased from 24% in 2010 to 49% in 2018. In the same period, the proportion of properties in the lowest EPC bands (E, F or G) more than halved, reducing from 27% to 12%.

In 2017, the number of households in fuel poverty was estimated to be 613,000 households or 24.9%. There was no significant difference in the fuel poverty rate between 2017 and 2018.

The Impact of Fuel Prices on Fuel Poverty

In 2018 there were increases in fuel prices whilst median income and energy efficiency remained similar to 2017.

For more information on energy prices, see the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy quarterly energy prices publications.

Trends in SHCS Fuel Poverty Figures

Note: Energy requirement underpinning fuel poverty estimate modelled on the following basis: 2012– 2013: BREDEM 2012 v.1.0; from 2014 onwards: BREDEM 2012 v.1.1, and New Prices to the adjustment of fuel price sources from 2013. From 2016 a further improvement is included by assigning pre-payment metered fuel prices to the relevant households.

Note: This is the first time the 2012-2015 estimates have been published and the estimates are not comparable to those in previous Key Findings reports.