Scottish Fuel Poverty Advisory Panel minutes: April 2018

Minutes of the meeting of the Scottish Fuel Poverty Advisory Panel held in April 2018.

Attendees and apologies


  • Ann Loughrey AL - independent Chair
  • Norrie Kerr NK Energy Action Scotland (EAS)
  • Steve Bell SB NHS Health Scotland
  • Nicola Dickie ND COSLA
  • Lawrence Slade LS Energy UK
  • Peter Kelly PK The Poverty Alliance
  • Sarah Boyack SB Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA)
  • Kate Morrison KM Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS)
  • Stewart Wilson SW Tighean Innse Gall (TIG)


  • John Blackwood JB Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL)

Scottish Government officials present

  • Saskia Kearns SK
  • Ann McKenzie AMcK
  • Ailie Clarkson AC
  • Gareth Fenney GF
  • Jo Wright JW

Items and actions

  1. Welcome (Chair)

a) Apologies

  • As indicated above.

b) Minute of previous meeting – draft to be approved (Paper 1)

  • Members approved draft as written. All previous actions recorded as complete.

c) Conflict of Interests – protocols to be agreed (Paper 2)

  • Members approved draft as written.
  • No conflict of interests were recorded against meeting Agenda. d) Terms of Reference (revised) – to be approved (Paper 3)
  • Members approved draft as written.

e) Partnership Forum – update (SG)

  • AMcK provided a short update on progress in establishing the new Partnership Forum, indicating that all Members of the ex-Fuel Poverty Forum had received a Ministerial invitation to join the new Partnership Forum; all Members of the new Advisory Panel are also Members of the Partnership Forum.

  • Advisory Panel Work-plan Year 1 (Chair)

Stakeholder Engagement & Partnership Building

a) Chair’s introductory meeting with the Minister – update

  • AL provided a short overview of her discussions with the Minister at their meeting on 17 April regarding the role of the new and independent fuel poverty governance bodies, and their shared expectations.
  • Discussion emphasised the potential role of the Advisory Panel in supporting development of the associated reporting framework that will sit alongside the government’s new Fuel Poverty Strategy to be published in 2019, which should also meet the needs of the Advisory Panel and wider stakeholders. The Minister requested that this be a priority in Year 1 for the Advisory Panel.

b) Chair Bilateral Meetings – Poverty & Inequality Commission – update

  • AL provided a short overview of her discussions with Douglas Hamilton (DH), independent Chair of the Poverty & Inequality Commission, on 3 April. In summary the Chairs agreed that the Commission would defer to the Advisory Panel on any fuel poverty related issue; the Chairs also agreed to the sharing of work-plans and for each to attend a minimum of one meeting of each other’s respective group per year, and informally as required outside of this.
  • Members discussed the connection between fuel poverty and child poverty, and the work of the respective groups in making key connections between the two policy fields moving forward, including through the Child Poverty Delivery Plan and associated Child Poverty Bill.

c) Future stakeholder engagement activity – open floor discussion

  • Members agreed that key to any stakeholder engagement will be the inclusion of “lived experience”, but that until the work of the Advisory Panel is more fully developed it is not possible at this stage to say with clarity who the group should be engaging with and how. Members agreed that further consideration of stakeholder engagement will be necessary at a later date – and as part of this consideration should be given to how the group engages with non-typical stakeholder groups that need to be brought into the fuel poverty discussion. Key will be to develop a timeline to identify when the Advisory Panel wants to engage certain parties, to maximise value.
  • NK suggested the Advisory Panel provide an open offer to potential stakeholder groups to attend meetings and present to Members on their specific area of interest.

Developing Policy Advice (Paper 4)

d) Policy development & Warm Homes Bill timeline – overview / update (SG)

  • AMcK provided an update on progress to date in development and drafting of the Warm Homes Bill (WHB), indicating conversations were on-going internally between policy and legal and Parliamentary Counsel teams. Members were advised that the associated outcomes framework that will align with the fuel poverty strategy is to be developed over the course of the interim period between publication of the draft and final strategy, due in 2019. The draft strategy will take on board feedback from the public consultation process.

e) Medium-to-Long Term Priorities – to be agreed

  • Members approved an amendment to their Year 1 work-plan as drafted to indicate a commitment by the Advisory Panel to advise and inform the development of the reporting framework to accompany the Warm Homes Bill and strategy, in line with the Minister’s request to the Chair.

f) Actions / Work to be commissioned – open floor discussion

  • AL invited Members to indicate any specific pieces of work they felt necessary to be commissioned to support the now agreed Year 1 Work-Plan Priorities. No specific work was proposed at this time.

3. Work-Plan Priority 1 (immediate): SG Draft Fuel Poverty Strategy (Chair)

a) SG draft fuel poverty strategy – open floor discussion (Paper 5)

  • AL invited Members to discuss the draft Fuel Poverty Strategy as circulated, with the aim being to agree formal advice on behalf of the group to be submitted to the Scottish Government for consideration. Key points discussed included:

    • The proposed definition of fuel poverty and the use of MIS;
    • The notion of “vulnerability” in the context of fuel poverty and cold-related health impacts – in particular, Members discussed the pros and cons of referring to “pension age” as an appropriate threshold; and
    • The level of ambition in the setting of targets for the eradication of fuel poverty – Members considered a variety of possible alternatives for structuring a set of targets and sub-targets, with built in review points, over the period up to 2035. Members were reminded that the targets had been set in line with the overall delivery of Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme (SEEP), which will operate up to 2040.

b) Next steps / feeding back to SG

  • As above.

4. SEEP Route Map & Consultation – Update (SG)

  • GF and JW provided a short presentational update on the as yet unpublished SEEP Route Map’s content and proposals.

5. AOB

a) SG Fuel Poverty Budget 2018-19 split

  • AMcK provided a brief update on the now published government fuel poverty budget split for 2018-19. Members were invited to note this.

b) Warmer Homes Scotland Annual Review 2016-17 (Paper 6)

  • Members were asked to note document as circulated.

c) All Energy Conference, 2-3 May (SEC Centre, Glasgow)

  • Members were invited to note and to register for free online if they wished to attend.

1 To issue follow up instructions on Conflict of Interests: Annual Declaration process following close of meeting. Secretariat
2 To publish approved Terms of Reference online Secretariat
3 To provide email contact address for the Partnership Forum Member Department of Work & Pensions representative to ND. Secretariat
4 To update Partnership Forum website Membership list to amend name of Scottish & Southern Energy Networks to ‘Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks’. Secretariat
5 To circulate summary note of Poverty & Inequality Commission meeting to Members. Secretariat
6 To share the finalised Advisory Panel Year 1 Work-plan with DH. Secretariat
7 Circulate “Coming in from the Cold” CAS report with Members. Secretariat
8 To recirculate EAS’ submission of evidence on devolved powers to the Social Security Committee, to Advisory Panel Members. Secretariat
9 Review key stakeholder consultation responses to confirm alignment with Advisory Panel’s formal feedback on the Draft Fuel Poverty Strategy to government. All Members
10 Revise Work-plan Year 1 Priorities list relating to the Draft Fuel Poverty Strategy and Fuel Poverty (Scotland) Bill to include a line on “informing development of monitoring and reporting framework”; and publish revised version online. Secretariat
11 Share confirmed Advisory Panel work-plan with the Poverty & Inequality Commission. Secretariat
12 Regarding feedback on the Draft Fuel Poverty Strategy: · Provide a form of words reflecting the Advisory Panel’s advice on the use of MIS and remote rural areas. · Any other feedback to be submitted to the Secretariat no later than noon 20 April. · Draft note summarising the formal advice submitted to be circulated. Deputy Chair ; All Members Secretariat
13 Share Care & Repair matrix report framework with Secretariat – to be issued to Members. Stewart Wilson / Secretariat
14 Circulate contact email addresses of Advisory Panel to all Members. Secretariat
15 To draft note summarising formal feedback agreed. Secretariat
16 Circulate SEEP consultation events details with Members. Secretariat
Scottish Fuel Poverty Advisory Panel minutes April 2018.pdf
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