5 Energy Use: Perceptions and Experiences
- Nearly a quarter of households find that their heating keeps them warm in winter only sometimes (18%) or never (5%). This is similar to 2014.
- Similar to previous years, 6% of households report that their homes were difficult to heat because they cannot afford to heat them.
- Fuel poor households are more likely to report difficulties staying warm in winter. 27% of them say that their heating keeps them warm in winter "only sometimes" (20%) or "never" (8%). 9% of fuel poor households report that they cannot afford to heat their home. This pattern is similar to 2014.
- The extent to which home energy use is monitored by householders remains unchanged since last year with 57% stating they monitor their energy use "very" or "fairly closely".
- 8% of households report owning an energy monitoring device - a 6 percentage point increase since 2008.
5.1 Heating Satisfaction
183. Respondents' views on their ability to keep warm in the winter and why this may be difficult is a useful context for understanding statistics on fuel poverty and energy efficiency in the home.
184. In 2015 three quarters of householders reported that they were able to stay warm at home during the winter ( Figure 23). 18% said that their heating keeps them warm "only sometimes", while 5% report that their heating systems never keep them warm in winter. This is very similar to 2014.
185. Of those reporting that their heating system keeps them warm in winter "Only Sometimes" or "Never", 22% report this to be "a serious problem", 50% "a bit of a problem", while 27% said it was "not very much" or "not a problem". As shown in Figure 23 this means that 5% of the surveyed households found their heating does not keep them warm in winter and that this was "a serious problem", and 11% that it was "a bit of a problem". This distribution is very similar to the results from the 2014 survey.
Figure 23: Staying Warm in Winter
Figure 24: "Does Your Heating Keep You Warm Enough in the Winter?" by Household Type, Tenure and Primary Heating Fuel; SHCS 2015
Note: Dashed lines represent the Scotland levels shown in Figure 23
186. Figure 24 shows how respondents' views on how well their heating systems keep them warm in winter vary depending on household ( HH) type, tenure and the primary heating fuel they use.
187. Pensioner households are less likely than other household types to report that their heating system doesn't always keep them warm in the winter; 16%, compared with 27% of families and 25% of other households.
188. Householders with electric heating have high propensity to report that their heating systems does not keep them warm in the winter (39%).
189. Social and private renters also have increased likelihood to report that their heating does not always keep them warm compared to owner occupiers. For social sector tenants this is in contrast to the relatively better energy efficiency of the dwellings they occupy compared to the housing stock overall (as shown in Table 19).
Figure 25: "Does Your Heating Keep You Warm Enough in the Winter?", Proportion 'Sometimes' or 'Never Warm', 2004-2015
190. Figure 25 shows how the proportion of householders reporting that their heating does not always keep them warm has changed over time, allowing for the margin of error. The results indicate that while after 2007 there was some increase in this proportion, it has leveled out in the last five years
191. The reasons why people find their homes difficult to heat are shown in Figure 26 and Table 39. The most common reasons relate to poor energy performance of the dwellings: poor heating systems and draughts (15% each) followed by insulation and windows (8% and 7%). About 6% of all surveyed householders consider it unaffordable to achieve the indoor temperatures they want. This is higher among renters (13% in the social sector and 9% in PRS) compared to owner occupiers (3%). On the whole private and social sector tenants are more likely than owner occupiers to report difficulties. 63% of all interviewed households did not report any problems heating their homes.
Figure 26: Reasons Heating Home is Difficult by Tenure, 2015 (% of households)
Note: responses have been grouped by theme, as described in section 7.5.5. More than one answer allowed so that the sum of responses can exceed 100%.
Table 39: Reasons Heating Home is Difficult by Tenure, 2015 (% of households)
|Owner occupied||Private rented||Social sector||All Tenures|
|Poor or inadequate heating||13%||18%||18%||15%|
|Need new windows||5%||14%||7%||7%|
|Can't afford to heat house||3%||9%||13%||6%|
|Hard to control heating||3%||7%||4%||4%|
|Rooms too big||3%||5%||1%||3%|
Note: Respondents are permitted to select more than one response. For this reason the sum down a column can exceed 100%
192. Table 40 shows how fuel poor and non-fuel poor households compare in their views on winter heating and heating affordability. Fuel poor households are more likely to report that their heating does not keep them warm in winter, 8% of them say they can never achieve enough warmth, and for 20% this happens some of the time. These figures compare to 3% and 17% of households who are not fuel poor. For 20% of fuel poor households this is "a serious" or "a bit of a problem", compared to 15% of non-fuel poor households.
Table 40: Staying Warm and Fuel Poverty, 2015 (% of households)
|Not Fuel Poor||Fuel Poor|
|During the winter months, do you generally find that your heating keeps you warm enough at home, or not?|
|Only some of the time||17%||20%|
|How much of a problem is this, if at all, to you?|
|A serious problem||4%||8%|
|A bit of a problem||11%||12%|
|Cannot afford to heat house||5%||9%|
193. Fuel poor households are also more likely to report affordability problems. When asked about the reasons why they find it difficult to keep their home warm, 9% of fuel poor households say "cannot afford to heat my home". The proportion of non-fuel poor households who give this answer is 5%.
5.2 Monitoring Energy Use
194. Since 2008 the SHCS has asked respondents to what extent they monitor their energy use and whether or not they have energy monitoring devices.
195. The proportion of households who do not monitor their energy use has fallen from 31% in 2008 to around one-fifth in 2012 and has remained at that level since (20-22%). In 2015 22% of respondents were not monitoring their energy use ( Table 41).
196. At the same time the proportion of those who report monitoring their energy use "fairly" or "very closely", as shown in Table 41 has increased over time from 44% in 2008 to 57% in 2015 .
Table 41: Extent to which Energy Use is Monitored, 2008-2015 (% of households))
|Extent Energy Use is Monitored…||Year|
|Subtotal: Very or fairly closely||57%||54%||56%||54%||47%||45%||47%||44%|
|Not very closely||22%||24%||24%||24%||22%||23%||25%||24%|
|Not at all||22%||22%||20%||22%||30%||32%||28%||31%|
197. In 2015 8% of households had energy monitoring devices, as shown in Table 42. This has stayed at a similar level for the last five years.
Table 42: Households with Energy Use Monitoring Devices, 2008-2015
|% of households||Sample Size|
198. Table 43 shows that fuel poor households are similar to others in the way they monitor their energy use: 57% report monitoring "very" or "fairly closely" compared to 56% of households who are not fuel poor. They are also equally likely to have monitoring devices at home: 6% of fuel poor households compared to 8% of all other households.
Table 43: Monitoring Energy Use and Fuel Poverty, 2015 (% of households)
|Not Fuel Poor||Fuel Poor|
|To what extent do you monitor your use of energy in your property?|
|Not very closely||22%||22%|
|Not at all||22%||21%|
|Do you have an energy-use monitoring device in your home?|