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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.
  • 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 target fuel-poor areas, to provide energy efficiency measures to a large number of households while saving emissions and helping to reduce fuel poverty. They may offer you energy efficiency measures, depending on where you live. The schemes are designed and 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. This offers energy efficiency advice, information on low-cost energy tariffs, and advice on income maximisation, as well as a range of energy efficiency measures.

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

A review of the Energy Assistance Package was published in 2014.