The cost of remoteness - reflecting higher living costs in remote rural Scotland when measuring fuel poverty: research report

This report estimates the percentage uplift required in remote rural areas of Scotland to calculate fuel poverty.


1. This covers most of the Inner Hebrides, Barra, Uist, the North and South Isles of Orkney and the North Isles of Shetland.

2. Specifically, weighted averages were calculated in two stages, drawing on population data. First, the relative number living in towns compared to small settlements was used to calculate a food budget for all but the most remote areas, by multiplying the town (supermarket-only) budget by the percentage living in towns and multiplying the accessible small settlement (supermarket plus local top-up) budget by the percentage not living in towns, and the results added to produce a main food budget applying to most areas. The second stage, for islands only, used the same population-weighted method to produce an average of this first result and the budget for people living on the most remote islands (based only on the local store), taking account of the relatively small number of people who live in those remote locations.

3. The precise MIS threshold used will vary according to household specifications, including the number and age of children in the case of families.

4. While the different design of the earlier study makes it hard to compare results in detail, it is possible to compare the range of uplift percentages in each of the two studies on the same basis, by including only the spending categories used in the current study, only the costs of households living in towns and only the household types for which calculations were made in both studies. On this basis, the uplifts ranged from 10% to 32% in the 2013 study and from 11% to 28% in the 2021 study.



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