Delivering affordable warmth in rural Scotland: action plan

Report produced by the independent Scottish Rural Fuel Poverty Task Force setting out actions to deliver affordable warmth in rural Scotland.

Chapter 2 - Fundamental guiding principles to delivering affordable warmth in rural Scotland

Case Study 1

Cosy Homes East Sutherland ( CHESS) aims to help vulnerable and fuel poor households in the area whose health may be negatively impacted by their current living conditions. The project is funded by the British Gas Energy Trust Healthy Homes ( BGET). The funding is used to offer grants to local, vulnerable householders to pay for heating and insulation measures up to a maximum of £12,000. They also operate a hardship fund of up to £500 to help with heating costs.

Support was given to a 51 year old with severe health conditions whose sole income is Disabled Living Allowance. He spent 42% of his income on fuel. Grant from CHESS paid for floor insulation, new carpets and remedial decorating work, and the hardship fund contributed to a supply of logs. A referral to Warmer Homes Scotland resulted in a new LPG heating system and Care and Repair have installed a new accessible bathroom, new windows and doors. SSE has moved the meter to make it more accessible and CAB is now acting as a third party for financial matters. "I can't thank you enough. It has been life changing."

Case Study 2

A couple in their late 20s, with a 3-year-old and a 3-month old baby collect their own wood supply, so their fuel expenditure doesn't give a true picture. They are on a low income and the client and one child's chronic cough is exacerbated by mould on bedroom walls. They didn't qualify for Warmer Homes Scotland and could not afford to replace their boiler or windows. A grant from CHESS, funded by BGET, of £6100 was given, and was used to replace windows and doors with double glazed units together with the install of a double glazed door into the porch area and finally replace an old oil boiler with an energy efficient Combi boiler and connect it to existing pipework.

Scotland's new fuel poverty/affordable warmth strategy should be based on three fundamental guiding principles:

2.1 Fairness and social justice should be every household's right, wherever in urban or rural Scotland they happen to live.

Recommended action:

Scottish Government ( SG)'s new strategic approach to tackling fuel poverty should be based on ensuring that its fuel poverty/affordable warmth policy opportunities will not, in practice, be constrained by geography but will be delivered equitably and consistently throughout the whole of Scotland.

Links: National Performance Framework

2.2 Vulnerable households should all receive the most effective practical help and support they need to keep their homes warm and at a cost they can afford.

Recommended action:

SG should make vulnerable households their top fuel poverty/affordable warmth policy priority and ensure that their programmes actually reach them all, wherever they happen to live, and deliver verifiable improvements to their lives.

2.3 The progress made by Scottish Government in its strategic approaches to eliminating fuel poverty from peoples' lives should be set within a statutory framework for delivery which is rigorously measured and accounted for annually in a published report to the Scottish Parliament.

Recommended action:

The practical effectiveness of fuel poverty / affordable warmth programme outcomes must be properly monitored and assessed and should record the before - and - after real world improvements made to the health and wellbeing of the households concerned. The data collected must provide a check on how targets are delivered, improvements assessed and programme outcomes defined (see also Chapter 10.)


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