Number Of Fuel Poor In Scotland Falls Thanks To Home Insulation

14 December 2013

The number of Scottish residents living in fuel poverty is falling, according to a recent report carried out by the Government.

Approximately 647,000 Scottish households are currently considered to be ‘fuel poor’, that is to say they are spending more than 10% of their income on fuel.

The figure represents a 27.1% decrease on 2011, when 721,000 households were living in fuel poverty.

The Government is also taking measures to reduce that number further.

The findings have been published as part of the Scottish House Condition Survey (SHCS).

According to the report, the number of dwellings without Loft Insulation has fallen to just 2% of the national stock. That’s a drop of 66% since 2003/04.

The major drop has been the result of the Government’s continued effort to promote energy efficiency. A variety of schemes have been introduced over the last decade, each seeing a rise in the number of properties having Loft Insulation fitted.

As well as the remaining 2% of properties without any Loft Insulation, the Government is now using its latest energy efficiency schemes – the Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation – to help better insulate lofts.

According to the SHCS survey, 71% of properties have insulation thicker than 200mm. That leaves 29% that could still benefit from deeper, more efficient Loft Insulation.

In addition to insulated lofts, Scottish homes have superior wall insulation now compared to six years ago, the report finds.

The number of dwellings with Cavity Wall Insulation has climbed to 66% of the national stock, an increase of 10% since 2008.

Cavity Wall Insulation has also been a primary focus for previous Government schemes, one of the reasons that this increase has occurred.

As with Loft Insulation, Cavity Wall Insulation is one of the key measures available under the Energy Company Obligation and Green Deal.

Under the Green Deal, householders can apply for a low-interest loan to pay for any of more than 40 energy efficient measures, from home insulation to solar heating.

The Energy Company Obligation is designed to help the nation’s poorest households by providing a non-repayable grant for energy saving home improvements, including Loft Insulation and Cavity Wall Insulation.

This latter scheme, which is partially funded by the major energy companies, has already seen an injection of funding to help Scotland’s poorest households.

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