Publication - Statistics

Scottish house condition survey: 2019 key findings

Published: 1 Dec 2020
Directorate:
Housing and Social Justice Directorate
Part of:
Housing
ISBN:
9781800043527

Figures from the 2019 survey, including updated fuel poverty rates, energy efficiency ratings, the condition of housing and the Scottish Housing Quality Standard.

Scottish house condition survey: 2019 key findings
5 Energy Perceptions

5 Energy Perceptions

Key Points

  • 13% of all households find that their heating keeps them warm enough in winter only sometimes and 3% find it never keeps them warm. This is similar to 2018 rates. 4% reported that their heating not keeping them warm enough in winter was "a serious problem".
  • 4% of all households report that their homes were difficult to heat because they cannot afford to heat them, which is similar to the level in 2018.
  • Fuel poor households and extreme fuel poor households are more likely to have difficulties staying warm in winter and to report affordability problems; 23% of fuel poor and 28% of extreme fuel poor say that their heating keeps them warm enough in winter "only sometimes" or "never", compared to 15% of all other households. 9% of all fuel poor and 10% of extreme fuel poor households report that they cannot afford to heat their home, higher than the 3% of non-fuel poor households.
  • The extent to which home energy use is monitored by householders is similar to last year with 57% stating they monitor their energy use "very" or "fairly closely" compared to 58% in 2018. 35% of all households report owning an energy monitoring device - a 7 percentage point increase on the previous year.
  • A similar proportion of fuel poor (60%) and extreme fuel poor (59%) households monitored their energy use "very" or "fairly closely" compared to non-fuel poor households (56%) in 2019. However they are less likely to have monitoring devices at home; 32% of fuel poor and 28% of extreme fuel poor households compared to 36% of all other households.

5.1 Heating Satisfaction

238. Respondents' views on their ability to keep warm enough 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.

239. In 2019, 81% of householders reported that they were always able to stay warm at home during the winter (Figure 26), 13% said that their heating keeps them warm only sometimes, and 3% report that their heating systems never keep them warm in winter. These are similar levels to 2018.

240. Of those reporting that their heating system keeps them warm enough in winter "only sometimes" or "never", 25% report this to be "a serious problem", 53% "a bit of a problem", while 23% said it was "not very much" or "not a problem". The proportion of households who said this was "not very much" or "not a problem" has decreased compared to 2018 (30%).

241. Of all households, 4% reported their heating not keeping them warm enough in winter, and this to be "a serious problem", while 9% said it was "a bit of a problem", both which are at similar levels to 2018.

Figure 26: Staying Warm in Winter, 2019
figure description below

Sample size: 2,997

Figure Description:

Pie and bar chart showing proportion of householders responses to the questions “Does your heating keep you warm enough in the winter?” and “How much of a problem is this?” in 2019

242. Figure 27 shows respondents' views on how well their heating systems keep them warm enough in winter vary depending on household (HH) type, tenure and the primary heating fuel they use in 2019.

243. Families and other households are more likely than older households to report that their heating system doesn't always keep them warm enough in the winter; 16% and 21%, for families and other households respectively, compared to 12% for older households.

244. Social and private renters have increased likelihood to report that their heating does not always keep them warm enough compared to owner occupiers; 25% and 21%, for social and private renters respectively, compared to 13% for owner occupiers. For social sector tenants this is despite the relatively better energy efficiency of the dwellings they occupy compared to other tenures (as shown in Table 20).

245. Householders with electric heating also have a high propensity to report that their heating systems does not keep them warm enough in the winter (32%).

Figure 27: "Does Your Heating Keep You Warm Enough in the Winter?" by Household Type, Tenure and Primary Heating Fuel; SHCS 2019
figure description below

Note: Dashed lines represent the responses from all households in Scotland shown in Figure 26.

Figure Description:

Bar chart showing proportion of householders responses to the question “Does your heating keep you warm enough in the winter?” by household type, tenure and primary heating fuel in 2019

246. Figure 28 shows how the proportion of householders reporting that their heating does not always keep them warm enough has changed over time, allowing for the margin of error (see section 7.1). Following a significant decrease in 2016, the proportion has remained at a similar level since then.

Figure 28: "Does Your Heating Keep You Warm Enough in the Winter?" Proportion 'Only Sometimes' or 'Never Warm', 2004-2019
figure description below

Figure Description:

Line chart showing proportion of householders responding ‘Only sometimes’ or ‘Never warm’ to the question “Does your heating keep you warm enough in the winter?” from 2004 to 2019

247. The reasons why people found their homes difficult to heat in 2019 are shown in Figure 29 and Table 44. The most common reasons relate to poor energy performance of the dwellings: poor or inadequate heating systems (13%) and draughts (12%) followed by poor insulation and windows (7% each).

248. About 4% of all surveyed householders considered it unaffordable to achieve the indoor temperatures they want. This is higher among private and social renters (5% and 10% respectively) compared to owner occupiers (2%).

249. On the whole, private rented and social sector tenants were more likely than owner occupiers to report difficulties in 2019. 67% of all interviewed households did not report any problems heating their homes, a similar percentage to 2018 (65%).

Figure 29: Reasons Heating Home is Difficult by Tenure, 2019
Bar chart showing proportion of householders responses for reasons heating the home is difficult by tenure in 2019

Note: responses have been grouped by theme, as described in section 7.8.5. More than one answer is allowed so the sum of responses can exceed 100%.

Table 44: Reasons Heating Home is Difficult by Tenure, 2019
Owner occupied Private rented Social sector All Tenures
None reported 70% 61% 62% 67%
Poor or inadequate heating 11% 18% 14% 13%
Draughty 10% 17% 16% 12%
Poor insulation 8% 9% 5% 7%
Need new windows 6% 8% 8% 7%
Can't afford to heat house 2% 5% 10% 4%
Rooms too big 4% 4% 1% 3%
Hard to control heating 2% 5% 3% 3%
Other 2% 1% 3% 2%
Sample size 1,965 317 715 2,997

Note: Respondents are permitted to select more than one response. For this reason the sum down a column can exceed 100%

250. Table 45 shows how fuel poor and non-fuel poor households compare in their views on winter heating and heating affordability in 2019.

251. Fuel poor and extreme fuel poor households are more likely to report that their heating keeps them warm enough in winter "only sometimes" or "never", 23% and 28%, respectively, compared to 15% of non-fuel poor households. For 21% of fuel poor households and 25% of extreme fuel poor households this is "a serious" or "a bit of a problem", higher than 11% for households who are not fuel poor.

252. Fuel poor and extreme 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 and 10% of extreme fuel poor households say "cannot afford to heat my home", compared to 3% of non-fuel poor households.

Table 45: Staying Warm and Fuel Poverty, 2019
Not Fuel Poor Fuel Poor Extreme Fuel Poor
During the winter months, do you generally find that your heating keeps you warm enough at home, or not?
Yes, always 83% 74% 70%
Only some of the time 13% 17% 20%
No, never 2% 7% 8%
Don't know 2% 2% 2%
How much of a problem is this, if at all, to you?
A serious problem 3% 8% 9%
A bit of a problem 8% 13% 17%
Affordability
Cannot afford to heat house 3% 9% 10%
Sample size 2,208 742 384

5.2 Monitoring Energy Use

253. Since 2008 the SHCS has asked respondents to what extent they monitor their energy use and whether or not they have energy monitoring devices.

254. The proportion of households who do not monitor their energy use fell from 31% in 2008 to 22% in 2012 and remained around that level (20-22%) until 2017, which saw an increase to 24% (Table 46) from 20% in 2016. The proportion of households who do not monitor their energy use fell again to 19% in 2018 and has remained at a similar level in 2019 (20%).

255. The proportion of those who report monitoring their energy use "fairly" or "very closely" increased from 44% in 2008 to 54% in 2012 and remained around that level until 2017. In 2018 this increased again to 58% where it has remained at a similar level in 2019 (57%).

Table 46: Extent to which Energy Use is Monitored, 2008, 2012-2019
Year
2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2008
Very closely 20% 19% 17% 18% 16% 16% 17% 16% 11%
Fairly closely 37% 39% 37% 38% 41% 37% 38% 38% 33%
Subtotal: Very or fairly closely 57% 58% 54% 56% 57% 54% 56% 54% 44%
Not very closely 23% 22% 21% 23% 22% 24% 24% 24% 24%
Not at all 20% 19% 24% 20% 22% 22% 20% 22% 31%
Don't know 1% 1% 1% 1% 0% 1% 0% 0% 1%
Total 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Sample size 2,997 2,964 2,529 2,441 2,492 2,682 3,442 3,428 3,762

256. In 2019, 35% of households had energy monitoring devices, as shown in Table 47. This is the fourth consecutive statistically significant year on year increase and represents a 26% increase in the proportion of households with an energy monitoring device compared to 2018 where 28% of households had energy monitoring devices.

Table 47: Households with Energy Use Monitoring Devices, 2008-2019
% of households Sample Size
2019 35% 2,997
2018 28% 2,964
2017 18% 2,529
2016 10% 2,441
2015 8% 2,492
2014 7% 2,682
2013 8% 3,442
2012 8% 3,428
2011 7% 3,949
2010 4% 3,853
2009 2% 4,153
2008 2% 3,762

257. Table 48 shows that a similar proportion of fuel poor (60%) and extreme fuel poor (59%) households monitored their energy use "very" or "fairly closely" compared to non-fuel poor households (56%) in 2019. However, they are less likely to have monitoring devices at home - 32% of fuel poor and 28% of extreme fuel poor households compared to 36% of all other households - despite the overall increase in energy monitoring devices recorded by the survey.

Table 48: Monitoring Energy Use and Fuel Poverty, 2019
Not Fuel Poor Fuel Poor Extreme Fuel Poor
To what extent do you monitor your use of energy in your property?
Very closely 20% 19% 18%
Fairly closely 36% 41% 42%
Not very closely 23% 22% 22%
Not at all 20% 17% *
Don't know 1% 0% *
Do you have an energy-use monitoring device in your home?
Yes 36% 32% 28%
Sample Size 2,208 742 384

Note: A * indicates where data has been suppressed due to low sample sizes.


Contact

Email: ScottishHouseConditionSurvey@gov.scot