Scottish government defends its record on fuel poverty figures

The Scottish government has insisted its eye remains on the ball in tackling fuel poverty.

The SNP administration has responded after new evidence emerged highlighting the extent of the problem in Shetland.

Shetland is one of seven council areas with significantly higher fuel poverty rates than the national average.

And one in five households are classed as being in extreme fuel poverty.

Isles MSP Beatrice Wishart has insisted: “warm words don’t heat homes”.

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said: “We remain committed to ending fuel poverty entirely, including in our island communities, and to implementing our Fuel Poverty Act which requires that our ambitious targets for reducing fuel poverty nationwide are also achieved within each and every local authority area.

“Later this year we will be publishing our Fuel Poverty Strategy, which will set out how we intend to meet our fuel poverty targets.

“We also know that the cost of electricity remains a significant issue, particularly in rural and island local authorities, where there is a higher reliance on electricity for heating.

“The Covid-19 pandemic will have exacerbated concerns over affording bills for many, which is why we have increased funding for the Scottish Welfare Fund and provided £15 million to local authorities to support to those facing financial insecurity, including due to fuel costs.

“Since 2013 our Area Based Schemes, delivered by local authorities, have improved energy efficiency for more than 100,000 fuel-poor households, making their homes warmer and cheaper to heat.

“We recognise that the costs of delivering energy efficiency measures are higher in remote rural and island areas, and councils serving these communities can now provide free home improvements worth up to £14,000 to people in extreme fuel poverty.

“I would encourage anyone struggling with their energy bills to get in touch with our Home Energy Scotland service for advice and support to reduce their fuel costs.”


Add Your Comment

Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.