Recent figures showed an increase in the incidence of fuel poverty to 29% at the end of 2011. While much of this is driven by soaring energy prices, energy efficiency upgrades have an important mitigating influence. Evidence of this can be seen in the social rented sector where, due to energy efficiency improvements, fuel poverty levels decreased by 2% over the past year. Indeed, without the demand-led and area-based energy efficiency schemes, funded by the Scottish Government, it is clear the incidence of fuel poverty would be much higher and even more susceptible to changes in income and price.
ExHA therefore supports the approach of the Scottish Government in developing a National Retrofit Programme. This programme must be aimed at delivering fuel poverty, climate change and demand reduction targets. It must also include an area-based approach which prioritises low-income areas. It should also coordinate all other relevant polices and spending and maintain a national demand-led approach, while its strategic direction should be developed in consultation with stakeholders.
See the Alliance parliamentary briefing here parli brief on fuel poverty debate jan 2013 exha