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Quality - Fuel Poverty

High Level Summary of Statistics Trend


Please note that this page is no longer being updated.  For the most recent trends in fuel poverty please click here

The Scottish Government launched a consultation on a new draft fuel poverty strategy, including a new definition, on 9 November 2017 – to view the consultation click here.



Fuel Poverty

A person is living in fuel poverty if, in order to maintain a satisfactory heating regime, they would need to spend more than 10 per cent of their household income (including Housing Benefit or Income Support for Mortgage Interest) on all household fuel use. The Scottish Government have pledged to ensure that by November 2016, so far as is reasonably practicable, people are not living in fuel poverty in Scotland.

In 2014 the estimated rate of fuel poverty remained similar to the previous year: 34.9% or around 845,000 households were fuel poor. This compares to 35.8%, or around 860,000 households, in 2013.

Levels of fuel poverty are broadly the outcome of three drivers - the energy efficiency of the housing stock, fuel prices and household income. Between 2002/3 and 2014, the proportion of dwellings rated A-D increased by 34% and median household income has grown by 36%. Fuel prices have risen much faster, so that by 2014 they were nearly three times (185%) their level in 2002/3. The increase in fuel poverty has broadly mirrored the growth in fuel prices for most part of this period.

The 2014 Scottish House Condition Survey (SHCS) Key Findings publication incorporates a number of methodological improvements to estimates of fuel poverty in recent years:

a) the underlying energy demand model has been updated for 2014;

b) sources of information and assumptions relating to fuel prices have been updated for 2013 and 2014, and the contribution of the Warm Home Discount (WHD) scheme launched in April 2011 has been taken into account when determining the cost of the domestic energy requirement and applied retrospectively to all years 2011-2014.  

Fuel Poverty 2016

Source: Scottish House Condition Survey

View chart data

Note: The definition of fuel poverty changed in 2002, and figures for 1996 are therefore not comparable with later years.

Further Information

Scottish House Condition Survey

Heating Your Home