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Scotland spends 10 times more tackling fuel poverty than England

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Nearly 4.5 million British households are in fuel poverty and that figure will rise unlessaction is taken say charities.

People in Scotland are more likely to be in fuel poverty than in England despite struggling households north of the border receiving 10 times the amount of financial support.

The latest figures show one in four Scots is fuel poor, which means they spend more than 10% of their income after housing costs on energy, compared to 15% in England.

Fuel poverty charities are now calling for a joint effort from the UK government and devolved administrations to tackle the country’s cold-home crisis.

There is currently no joined up approach to tackling fuel poverty across the nations

A new UK Fuel Poverty Monitor report from Energy Action Scotland, National Energy Action and Consumer Futures revealed £36.58 per electricity customer is invested on energy efficiency programmes in Scotland, compared to only £3.52 in England.

However, despite the higher spending a larger percentage of Scots are still struggling, as are residents in Wales and Northern Ireland, and the charities say a formal working group should be set up to tackle the crisis.

They are calling for investment across the four nations to radically improve the fabric and heating of energy inefficient old housing stock as a long-term solution to reducing high domestic energy bills.

Director of Energy Action Scotland Norman Kerr said: "Despite policies and targets derived in Westminster impacting on the whole of the UK there is currently no joined up approach to tackling fuel poverty across the nations,” he said.

“We need greater and more transparent coordination across the Westminster and devolved governments on all consumer energy issues, and are calling for a formal working group to be established to drive up energy efficiency standards across the UK and report on their actions.”

The charities also recommend the Scottish Government bring forward its plans to introduce energy efficiency regulation in the private rented sector to stop it lagging behind the social rented sector.

Adam Scorer, director of Consumer Futures said: “Energy prices are soaring, and look set to rise further. That leaves millions of households desperate for a government wide strategy to tackle fuel poverty.

“A credible and enduring response to the scourge of fuel poverty has to be a large scale energy efficiency programme that keeps homes warmer, bills lower, carbon saved and some of the costs associated with infrastructure investment safely avoided.”