Tackling fuel poverty in Scotland: a strategic approach

The fuel poverty strategy sets out policies and proposals for national government, local authorities and third sector partners to help meet the targets set out in the Fuel Poverty (Targets, Definition and Strategy) (Scotland) Act 2019.

Chapter 9 – Monitoring and Reporting

To ensure that we meet our ambitious targets, we will continue to monitor rates of fuel poverty, and to ensure that we are addressing the barriers to accessing affordable energy, we will assess the impact of our work by measuring outcomes. The Scottish Fuel Poverty Advisory Panel will provide robust independent scrutiny of our progress.

Monitoring progress

We currently monitor rates of fuel poverty and extreme fuel poverty via the SHCS which we publish annually. More information on the SHCS is provided in the supporting technical annex.

Data development

Reporting fuel poverty rates fully aligned with the new definition requires a number of additions to the data we collect:

  • From 2018, we have collected data in the SHS social interview on childcare costs and the income of other adults beyond the highest income householder and their spouse.
  • From 2020, we have made changes to the data collected in the social interview about the times of the day and week households are regularly at home in order to apply the correct heating regime as set out in the Fuel Poverty (Enhanced Heating) (Scotland) Regulations 2020.
  • We have undertaken work to analyse the impact of moving from taking account of regional weather in fuel poverty energy modelling, to using postcode district information, and will move to this approach going forward making the modelling as localised as possible.
  • We have commissioned work to impute the housing costs for those households in the survey where this information is missing.
  • We have commissioned research studying the additional costs (relevant to the fuel poverty definition) of living in remote rural, remote small town and island Scotland. This research determines the uplifts which will apply to the Minimum Income Standard for households in these areas in 2021 and will be updated annually.

These data developments are not currently included in the best estimates presented since they are not available in all of the previous 3 years required for local authority analysis. Rather than incrementally making changes to the data provided, all of the improvements will be made when we have the full set of information required to monitor the definition and this will be for the SHCS 2021 data at the earliest.

Measuring outcomes

As part of our consultation on the Draft Fuel Poverty Strategy, which closed on 1 February 2018, we sought views on our intention to take an outcomes-focused approach and included a draft outcomes framework. We received responses from a range of stakeholders, including local authorities, energy suppliers, third sector organisations, as well as representatives from health and social care.

Only a small number of respondents did not agree with an outcomes-focused approach and we received a wide range of comments that have helped us to develop our outcomes framework further. Working with the Scottish Fuel Poverty Advisory Panel and other key stakeholders, we will develop this further and will publish the final framework in 2022.

SG Action - We will work with key stakeholders, including local authorities, COSLA, and the Scottish Fuel Poverty Advisory Panel to develop an outcomes framework that we will publish in 2022


As well as monitoring our progress and measuring the outcomes of our work, it is important that we regularly publish a fuller analysis of the progress we are making towards our targets. This will provide transparency and allow us to reassess our action plan to consider whether further or new actions are required.

We will work with key partners and stakeholders, including local authorities, to develop a reporting format that will set out the progress we have made towards reaching our ambitious targets, reflect on our achievements to date, and identify new activity that we consider is required if we are to meet our targets. We will consider including qualitative reporting within the reports and, where appropriate, we will ensure that our reporting is aligned with that of the heat in buildings programme.

We will publish our reports every three years, with our first report due in early 2025 and (as the rates of fuel poverty for 2040 will not be available until December 2041 at the earliest) our final report due no later than 2042.

SG Action – Working with key partners, including the Scottish Fuel Poverty Advisory Panel, we will develop a reporting format that will set out the progress we have made in reaching the fuel poverty targets. We will report every three years, with the final report being published no later than 2042


We will keep this Strategy under review so that we are able to respond to changing circumstances and ensure progress towards meeting our statutory targets.

We will revise this Strategy at a date no later than 2026. At that time, we will assess progress towards meeting the 2040 target and interim milestones and recommend further necessary action that may be required. If, for any reason, we do not believe a revised Strategy is necessary by 2026, we will publish an explanation of our decision.

SG Action - We will keep this Strategy under review and will revise it at least every 5 years, with the first review taking place no later than 2026


Email: FuelPovertyStrategy@gov.scot

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