Quality - Fuel Poverty

High Level Summary of Statistics Trend

Fuel Poverty

Updated: November 2013

A person is living in fuel poverty if, in order to maintain a satisfactory heating regime, they would be required to spend more than 10 per cent of their household income (including Housing Benefit or Income Support for Mortgage Interest) on all household fuel use. The Scottish Government have pledged to ensure that by November 2016, so far as is reasonably practicable, people are not living in fuel poverty in Scotland.

Fuel prices are an important factor in fuel poverty. Peaks in consumer prices correspond to high levels of fuel poverty, e.g. in 2009 (34%) and October 2011 (30%). Fuel poverty rates also vary by the type of fuel used for heating. Mains gas is the cheapest commonly available heating fuel. Where households do not have access to the mains gas network, fuel poverty is higher; 52% of households off the gas grid were fuel poor in 2012, compared with 24% on the grid.

Between October 2011 and mid-2012, fuel prices changed very little overall. In that period the fuel poverty rate fell to 27.1% due to changes in surveyed incomes and the improved energy efficiency of Scottish homes.

Fuel Poverty 2012


Source: Scottish House Condition Survey

View chart data

Note: The definition of fuel poverty changed in 2002, and figures for 1996 are therefore not comparable with later years.  The fuel poverty time series was revised back to 2003/4 in 2012 to correct minor calculation errors from previous years.

Further Information

Scottish House Condition Survey

Heating Your Home