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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Call for tough new targets after fuel poverty failure

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​Consultation will set new fuel poverty targets after Scottish Government's failure to eliminate the problem

Leading charities want tougher fuel poverty targets after the Scottish Government drastically failed in its commitment to eliminate the problem by 2016.

Housing minister Kevin Stewart’s said the country is taking a “bolder and more focused” approach to tackling the problem after it failed to reach last year’s targets.

New measures will be included in the government’s warm homes bill, which will be brought forward in 2018.

Nearly three quarters of a million households (748,000) are still affected by fuel poverty in Scotland, meaning they spend 10% or more of their income on heating their home.

The Existing Homes Alliance, whose members include the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, Citizens Advice Scotland and WWF Scotland, called on the Scottish Government to follow through on its commitment to eradicate poor home energy performance.

Lori McElroy, chair of the alliance, said: “The bill must set out how action on the new fuel poverty target will be monitored and reported on, but it must also set new ambitions to improve the energy efficiency of Scotland’s homes.”

Research by the Scottish Fuel Poverty Strategic Working Group shows that better energy efficiency ratings are associated with lower fuel poverty rates.

Some 19% of households in homes rated Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) bands B or C are fuel poor, compared with 73% of those in homes rated F or G.

Craig Salter, energy policy officer at Citizen’s Advice Scotland (CAS) said the consultation was welcome but that targets had to be met this time.

He said: “Fuel poverty remains far too high in Scotland at over 30%, and it is crucial that any new definition helps to target support effectively at those with the greatest need, while providing safeguards to ensure that anyone who needs support does not lose out.”