New targets to end fuel poverty are to be created after Scotland spectacularly failed to eradicate the problem by the 2016 deadline. The Scottish Government has been forced into action after it missed a statutory date for ending the problem last November. People are defined as being in fuel poverty if they need to pay more than 10% of income on energy costs. According to the latest figures, more than a third of Scots are currently living in fuel poverty. Charities have been campaigning for the Scottish Government to set another date – and this time ensure they stick to it. Now ministers have said they will open a consultation on how fuel poverty is defined – and new targets for its elimination. Equalities secretary Angela Constance said she will consult with charities before measures are set out in a new warm homes bill later this year. Any new fuel poverty goal will remain out of reach unless it is backed up by stronger action and a target to improve the energy efficiency of Scotland’s homes, alongside other actions on income, managing energy and energy prices. The commitment to put in place minimum energy performance standards in the private rented sector and a phased regulation of other existing buildings will really help improve housing conditions for vulnerable tenants and reduce fuel bills.
Third Force News 9th March 2017 read more »