Scottish Fuel Poverty Advisory Panel Partnership Forum: terms of reference

Terms of reference for the Scottish Fuel Poverty Advisory Panel and Partnership Forum.

Terms of reference from January 2018

1. Background

1.1. Following the recommendations of the Fuel Poverty Strategic Working Group (SWG) in October 2016, the Scottish Fuel Poverty Advisory Panel and Partnership Forum will replace the former Scottish Fuel Poverty Forum.

2. Remits and Responsibilities

2.1. The Scottish Fuel Poverty Advisory Panel will advise Scottish Ministers on fuel poverty issues in Scotland, providing constructive feedback on progress in meeting targets. In particular, it will:

  • provide independent advice to Ministers on fuel poverty matters, with the ability to research and draft independent reports to be submitted for consideration on this basis
  • monitor and report on progress of the development and implementation of the Scottish Government's Fuel Poverty Strategy, including a new fuel poverty target
  • support and challenge Government at all levels on delivery of its fuel poverty and energy efficiency programmes, and efforts to tackle fuel poverty, recognising the broader poverty and climate change policy contexts within which these sit
  • encourage and foster a partnership approach to tackling fuel poverty across the public, private and third sectors – this will include giving consideration to how the group can effectively and appropriately engage with other similarly strategic groups operating in related policy fields
  • monitor and report on the delivery of the Rural Fuel Poverty Task Force and the Fuel Poverty Strategic Working Group's recommendations and report on progress
  • produce an annual statement to Scottish Ministers on progress and outcomes
  • undertake specific in-depth work through short life working groups to explore relevant issues and make recommendations on how they should be addressed

2.2. The Scottish Fuel Poverty Partnership Forum will be a representative body for the wider fuel poverty sector, and will:

  • review the annual Scottish House Condition Survey results regarding level of fuel poverty
  • provide a source of expertise that will be called upon to sit on short life working groups and provide evidence to the Panel when required
  • support a co-ordinated approach to tackling fuel poverty across the public, private and third sectors.

3. Membership

3.1. Scottish Ministers will appoint the independent Chair of the Fuel Poverty Advisory Panel and all Panel members, which we anticipate will include bodies representing consumers, local government, social landlords, the energy industry and third sector organisations working on fuel poverty, poverty more generally and health issues. All appointments made will be announced in due course.

3.2. Membership of the Fuel Poverty Partnership Forum will consist of existing members of the Fuel Poverty Forum and other relevant bodies to be determined.

3.3. An indication of anticipated membership to both the Advisory Panel and Partnership Forum is included at Annex A.

3.4. The membership of both groups will be reviewed every two years to ensure appropriate representation of interests on the groups.

4. Secretariat

4.1. Scottish Government will provide secretariat support to both the Fuel Poverty Advisory Panel and the Partnership Forum, including supporting the process for production of any reports by the Advisory Panel for consideration by the Minister.

4.2. Scottish Government will circulate the agenda and papers one week in advance of meetings.

4.3. Minutes of meetings will be published on the fuel poverty pages of the Scottish Government website.

5. Meeting schedule

5.1. Meetings of the Fuel Poverty Advisory Panel will be held 5 times a year.

5.2. The Fuel Poverty Partnership Forum should meet in December of each year, with the potential to meet a further time in the middle of the year.

5.3. Partnership Forum meetings should be held on the same day as Advisory Panel meetings.

5.4. The Minister for Local Government and Housing will attend at least one meeting a year of the Fuel Poverty Partnership Forum.

5.5. The independent Chair of both groups will meet annually with the Minister for Local Government and Housing to review progress towards objectives.

6. Decision Making

6.1. The membership of the Advisory Panel will be representatives from 9 organisations, plus the Chair, and meetings will require a quorum of two-thirds of the members plus the Chair. All decisions made by the Panel will require the support of the majority of the members – the Chair will hold the casting vote, where required.

6.2. All members of the Panel are expected to actively contribute both during discussions at meetings and by way of commenting on documents circulated and preparing papers between meetings.

6.3. Short life working groups will be established and dissolved as directed by the Chair. Any short life group established shall minute their meetings and report back on findings to the Fuel Poverty Advisory Panel.

6.4. Decisions will be made solely to benefit those in fuel poverty and subsequent actions will be recorded within the notes of the Panel's meeting.

7. Guiding principles

7.1. Central to the operation of the Advisory Panel and the Partnership Forum is forging partnerships between public sector, private sector, agencies and third sector delivery bodies to understand the issues facing those in fuel poverty in Scotland and advising Ministers on issues and potential policy changes required.

7.2. The Advisory Panel and Partnership Forum will agree all collective communications.

7.3. Members should sign up to the terms and conditions issued with this terms of reference document.

8. Substitutes

8.1. Members unable to attend the Fuel Poverty Advisory Panel meeting in person should inform the Chair and Secretariat in advance of the meeting. If appropriate, a substitute with sufficient authority can attend and contribute on a member's behalf.

Membership organisations

Advisory Panel Partnership Forum
Consumers – Citizen's Advice Scotland: Consumer Futures Unit Members of the preceding Scottish Fuel Poverty Forum
Local Government – COSLA Energy UK
Social Landlords – Scottish Federation of Housing Associations Poverty Truth Commission
Energy Industry – Energy UK Department for Work & Pensions
Third Sector – Energy Action Scotland Social Security
Health – NHS Health Scotland Scotia Gas Network
Poverty – The Poverty Alliance -
Private Sector Landlords – Scottish Association of Landlords -
Rural – Tighean Innse Gall -
Chair Ann Loughrey

Organisations who held membership in the previous Scottish Fuel Poverty Forum are as follows:

  • Age Scotland
  • Association for the Conservation of Energy
  • Child Poverty Action Group
  • Citizens Advice Scotland
  • Energy Action Scotland
  • Energy Saving Trust
  • Existing Homes Alliance Scotland
  • Save the Children
  • Scottish Public Health Network and NHS Health Scotland
  • Poverty Alliance
  • Scottish Gas & Centrica Plc.
  • Scottish Federation of Housing Associations
  • Shelter
  • Scottish Housing Energy Efficiency Network (SHEEN)
  • Ofgem
  • ScottishPower Energy Networks
  • Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution Networks
  • Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE)
  • Scottish Power
Back to top