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Fuel poverty campaigners call for tougher targets

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New targets must be reached this time say campaigners

Housing campaigners are calling for the Scottish Government to introduce tougher targets to end fuel poverty.

Responses to a government consultation, which ends today (31 January) saw Shelter Scotland, the Chartered Institute for Housing (CIH) and the Association of Local Authority Chief Housing Officers (ALACHO) raise concerns that current proposals don’t go far enough.

Under the official definition 649,000 households live in fuel poverty in Scotland. The Scottish Government had set a target to eradicate fuel poverty by November 2016.

Under new proposals there will be a new definition and new targets aiming to reduce the proportion of people in fuel poverty to 20% by 2030 and to under 10% by 2040.

However housing campaigners are worried the new definition may result in some people missing out on help and have raised concerns that the targets are not strong enough.

Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said: “It is simply unacceptable in 21st century Scotland for people to be torn between choosing to heat their home or other essentials and it is good that the government is renewing its commitment to tackle the problem.

“We’d like to see that pledge backed-up with more detail on how the Scottish Government will measure success over the 22 years so we can be sure the action taken is working.”

Annie Mauger, executive director of the Chartered Institute of Housing in Scotland, said for fuel poverty to be eradicated, the Scottish Government must also be willing to commit appropriate resources over the coming years to make it happen.

John Mills co-chair of Alacho and head of housing at Fife Council said: “We welcome the Scottish Government’s continuing long-term commitment to reducing fuel poverty.

“Local authorities have worked hard to improve the energy efficiency of their own homes and in supporting owners to do the same.

“We believe there should be a clear commitment to eliminate poor energy efficiency as a cause of fuel poverty as the first step to ending it all together.”



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