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Tackling fuel poverty
Basic energy efficiency measures have prevented up to 35,000 Scottish households from falling into fuel poverty over the past year.
Statistics released yesterday show that the installation of measures such as loft and cavity insulation, double glazing and new boilers have helped to reduce energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and cut household energy requirements.
In spite of efforts by the Scottish Government to help reduce household energy bills, tens of thousands of families were pushed into fuel poverty in 2011 as a direct result of energy company price rises. Between July and October 2011, more than 102,000 households fell into this category after energy prices increased by 14%.
Housing and Welfare Minister Margaret Burgess said:
"Basic energy efficiency measures can make a huge difference to Scottish families who are struggling to make ends meet, allowing them to heat their homes more cost effectively.
"This government has allocated over £68 million in 2012-13 to energy efficiency and fuel poverty programmes to help individuals and families who are in most need of support. We also have in place a cashback voucher scheme offering up to £500 per household for energy efficiency measures such as double glazing and loft and cavity wall insulation, and from today, energy efficient boilers and appliances for private sector landlords.
"Rising energy bills are a huge concern for this government, and fuel poverty is an absolute scandal in an energy rich country like Scotland.
"The more that energy companies continue to implement punishing price increases, the more they are undoing the good work we are doing to tackle fuel poverty.
"That is why we are urging the UK government - who has responsibility in this area - to do more to help vulnerable people and ensure that our households are better protected."