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Sustainable Housing

Making houses more energy efficient helps us meet the targets set in the Climate Change Act and make our housing more sustainable:

What is Fuel Poverty?

A person is living in fuel poverty if, to heat their home to a satisfactory standard, they need to spend more than 10 per cent of their household income on fuel.

Causes of Fuel Poverty

Three factors influence whether a household is in fuel poverty.

  • Low household income. The costs of heating a property form a greater proportion of total income for those on low incomes.
  • Fuel costs. Higher prices reduce the affordability of fuel. Prices of different types of fuels can vary considerably, as can the availability of different fuels in different areas, and of different types of heating systems. This affects the ability of consumers to exercise choice.
  • Energy efficiency. The energy efficiency of the building and the efficiency of the heating source determine the amount of energy needed to heat the home.

Scottish Government's Fuel Poverty Policy

The Scottish Government aims to ensure that by November 2016, so far as is reasonably practicable, people are not living in fuel poverty in Scotland.

How is the Scottish Government addressing fuel poverty?

The Home Energy Efficiency Programmes for Scotland (HEEPS) replace the previous Energy Assistance Package, Universal Home Insulation Scheme and Carbon Emissions Reduction Scheme.

The Home Energy Efficiency Programmes for Scotland: Area Based Schemes are designed and delivered by local authorities, targeting fuel poor areas, to provide energy efficiency measures to a large number of Scottish households while delivering emission savings and helping to reduce fuel poverty. From summer 2013 they may offer you energy efficiency measures, depending on where you live. The schemes are delivered by local authorities in conjunction with local delivery partners.

The Energy Saving Trust manages delivery of the other Home Energy Efficiency Programmes for Scotland through the Home Energy Scotland hotline on behalf of the Scottish Government in partnership with a range of advice providers and the energy companies. They offer energy efficiency advice, information on low cost energy tariffs, and advice on income maximisation, as well as a wide range of energy efficiency measures.

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What else is being done to alleviate fuel poverty?

The Scottish Government is working in partnership with local authorities, voluntary bodies and energy companies to achieve its 2016 target.

Local authorities, in taking fuel poverty into account in their local housing strategies, have an important contribution to make to achieve the target.

Energy companies are contributing to the target through their Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and other schemes.

Review of the Energy Assistance Package

The Energy Assistance Package was the Scottish Government’s main fuel poverty programme from 2009/10 to 2012/13.  It has now been superseded by the Home Energy Efficiency Programmes for Scotland which have operated from April 2013.

The Scottish Government asked Glasgow Caledonian University to review the Energy Assistance Package with a view to informing future programme development.  The report was published on 14 April 2014.