Citizens Advice Scotland is today publishing the findings of new research into fuel poverty in Scotland, looking specifically at which households are most affected and what kind of support they need.
The research has found that certain types of household are more likely to struggle to heat their homes affordably: including people in rented flats, those in rural homes, younger people and those who use electric heating. It also finds that those most in need of support are those least likely to access it.
Publishing the report today, CAS Energy spokesman Craig Salter says,
“This research give us a vital insight into the real life experiences of those who are defined as fuel poor, and the specific support needs of households in different circumstances.
“It comes at a crucial time, with fuel poverty rates in Scotland still unacceptably high and energy prices continuing to rise at several times the rate of inflation. Positive steps are being taken by the Scottish Government to introduce a more accurate definition of fuel poverty and develop a new strategy to eradicate it. However for this strategy to succeed, it must reflect the real experiences and support needs of those who are actually in fuel poverty.
“This research points towards some of the key priorities for the successful eradication of fuel poverty. These include: providing financial support to increase incomes or reduce fuel bills; ensuring that higher living costs in remote rural areas are taken into account; and targeting appropriate support at those with the greatest need.
“We hope that this research will help to inform future fuel poverty policies, as well as wider energy and social justice policies, and ensure that they have the interests of fuel poor households at their heart."