7. The Assessment Process
7.1. The Equalities Impact Assessment considers evidence under the following protected characteristics:
- Gender reassignment
- Sexual orientation
- Religion or belief
- Marriage/Civil Partnership
- Pregnancy and Maternity
7.2. The equality analysis helps inform the development of all aspects of the Programme and monitoring arrangements. We have also included consideration under Children's Rights and Wellbeing, the Fairer Scotland Duty and Island Proofing.
7.3. We consulted with various groups during previous consultations related to the Programme. These included representatives from various sectors including:
- Building and construction sector
- Environmental and Energy Sector
- Local authorities and Registered Social Landlords
- Social landlord representative bodies
- Advice and information bodies
- Stakeholder groups
7.4. Those who responded agreed with the aims and vision of the Programme and welcomed Scottish Government's target to address the challenges of fuel poverty and the opportunity to be involved in discussions around the development of the programme. They acknowledged the work already being done to improve energy efficiency including HEEPS: Area Based Schemes, Warmer Homes Scotland and the work of Home Energy Scotland. It was emphasised that there was a need to make assistance available to all, especially those over the age of 60. They confirmed that the 'one stop shop' approach for advice and information proposed within the Programme was the best approach. This, alongside low/no interest loans, would benefit a greater number of people to input energy efficiency measures and aid in reducing energy bills, the outcome of which would help tackle cold related ill-health amongst older people affected by fuel poverty.