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The Speird Project: research by Glasgow Caledonian University

New fuel poverty research looks at ‘energy spend gap’.

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Research funded by Eaga Charitable Trust provides new evidence on the extent and segmentation of fuel poverty in Scotland and uncovers the ‘hidden geographies’ of fuel poverty across rural areas and the islands. 

The Speird Project was developed by Dr Keith Baker and Ron Mould at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU), and conducted in partnership with ALIenergy, Lochalsh and Skye Housing Association, Orkney Isles Council, Highland Council and Scarf, with support from a steering group chaired by Energy Action Scotland. 

The findings validate and substantially expand on previous research by the GCU team which found the difference between the amounts rural and urban households in Renfrewshire were spending on heating was significantly more than current statistics suggest. 

The recommendations include the need for policies that treat fuel poverty as primarily a welfare problem as well as those which treat householders as individuals, not statistics. The full report and research summary can be accessed on the Eaga Charitable Trust website.