Scottish Government
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Drive to tackle fuel poverty

A massive programme to transform Scotland’s ageing houses into energy efficient homes has been announced yesterday by Alex Neil.

The Scottish Government hopes to work with energy companies to identify around £200 million a year to assist homes in areas of fuel poverty save money and become more energy efficient.

This new programme will offer a range of free or discounted heating and home insulation measures to people living in older homes across Scotland who struggle with fuel poverty.

This will build on the successes of current fuel poverty and energy efficiency programmes, which are due to save households across Scotland some £700 million in total.

Responding to a report by the Fuel Poverty Forum, Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment Alex Neil said:
“Scotland is an energy rich nation and it is simply unacceptable that rising bills mean that some people are struggling to heat their homes. That is why the Scottish Government is continuing to do all we can to tackle fuel poverty.

“A major problem we face – identified by the Scottish Fuel Poverty Forum - is in our older houses. These homes lack the kind of modern energy efficiency measures, like high quality boilers and insulation, which can help make houses warmer and cut heating bills.

“That is why today, I can announce that we will take forward a massive programme to transform the energy efficiency of our ageing homes.

 “Working with the energy companies, we believe £200m a year can be devoted to this programme, making a massive difference to hard working householders who simply shouldn’t be worried about their next heating bill.

”Tackling fuel poverty in our aging housing stock will help us to ensure that, as far as possible, people are not living in fuel poverty in Scotland by November 2016.” 

Related information:

  • Fuel poverty is defined as spending 10 per cent or more of household income on domestic fuel bills.
  • The Scottish Government funding for Fuel Poverty and energy efficiency programmes is £65 million in 2012-13, at a time of substantial cuts to Scottish Government funding by the UK Coalition government. 
  • The ambitions outlined are dependent upon Scotland receiving at least a pro-rata share of obligations on energy companies to help reduce carbon emissions and assist vulnerable customers.  A pro-rata share of the proposed Energy Company Obligation would equate to investment of £120m pa in Scotland. 
  • The report from the Fuel Poverty Forum
  • We expect the programme to start in 2013 and cover the whole of Scotland in 10 years
  • Further information and advice on current schemes is available from the Scottish Government’s Home Energy Scotland Hotline, a one-stop shop for independent energy saving advice and support.  Call 0800 512 012 or 0300 456 2655 from a mobile, or visit