Target to Eradicate Fuel Poverty in Scotland

Scottish Government

The Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 set a statutory duty on the Scottish Government to eradicate fuel poverty in Scotland, as far as was reasonably practicable, by November 2016. This statutory duty expired and the target was missed.

In 2015, two short-life advisory groups were set up by the Scottish Government to look at fuel poverty strategy and rural issues. In October 2016, the Scottish Fuel Poverty Strategic Working Group published its report A Scotland without fuel poverty is a fairer Scotland: four steps to achieving sustainable, affordable and attainable warmth and energy use for all and the Scottish Rural Fuel Poverty Task Force published its report An action plan to deliver affordable warmth in rural Scotland proposed by the Scottish Rural Fuel Poverty Task Force. There are over 100 recommendations in both reports.

The Scottish Government published its response to these reports in March 2017, and said that it is committed to developing a new, long-term strategy, with a new target. This was consulted on in autumn 2017 and will be taken forward in a Warm Homes Bill in 2018. The Scottish Government also commissioned an independent, expert review of the current definition of fuel poverty, which will inform the new fuel poverty strategy. That expert report is here.

Local Authorities

Local Authorities were also obligated under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 (section 89) to produce local strategies before April 2004, setting out the measures they would put in place to ensure ‘so far as reasonably practicable, that persons do not live in fuel poverty’.

Scottish Government Local Housing Strategy Guidance provides information on reporting requirements.There is also a Sustainable Housing Advice Note which provides further information on fuel poverty and climate change.