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SFHA: Scottish Government must demonstrate that energy efficiency is a national infrastructure priority

SFHA comments on the first release of information from the Scottish House Condition Survey (SHCS) for the year January to December 2015.

For immediate use: Tuesday 6 December 2016 

Responding to the latest fuel poverty figures released today (Tuesday 6 December) by the Scottish Government, the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) said that while it welcomed the slight reduction in levels, they are still too high, and the government must demonstrate that it is delivering on its pledge to make energy efficiency a national infrastructure priority. (1)

Today’s figures show that in 2015, 30.7% of households in Scotland were in fuel poverty, which is a decrease of about four percentage points compared to 2014. The amount of people living in extreme fuel poverty in 2015 was 8.3%, a decrease of about one percentage point compared to 2014.

SFHA Chief Executive Mary Taylor said:

“We welcome today’s figures which show a slight improvement, but we need to build on this by increasing investment and setting minimum energy efficiency standards for all properties.

“Our members face a particular challenge in addressing fuel poverty as, while research published by the SFHA last year showed that housing associations and co-operatives have the most energy efficient homes in Scotland, their tenants have lower than average incomes. This means that while their homes cost less to heat, they are just as likely to be in fuel poverty, and so it is vital that associations are supported to continue to invest in the energy efficiency of their homes.

“There are also specific issues to be tackled when improving the energy efficiency of homes that require solid wall insulation or where properties are off the main gas network and, therefore, more expensive to heat.”

Dr Taylor concluded:

“Today’s figures show that fuel poverty remains a major challenge. If we are serious about ending fuel poverty, then minimum standards need to be set to bring homes across all tenures, not just housing association and local authority properties, to an acceptable energy efficiency standard – this will make a real different to the lives of some of Scotland’s poorest people. 

“It is time for the Scottish Government to demonstrate that energy efficiency is indeed a national infrastructure priority and to back this up by increasing funding as no one in Scotland should be living in fuel poverty.”

Ends

For further information, please contact Kirsten Walker on t: 0141 567 6221 m: 0788 788 8348 email: kwalker@sfha.co.uk

Visit our website at www.sfha.co.uk

Follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/SFHA.HousingScotland

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NOTES:

  1. www.gov.scot/Resource/0051/00511081.pdf
  2. The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) was established in 1975 and has around 120 members providing affordable housing and wider community services across Scotland, as well as a further 200 commercial associates. The SFHA is owned and governed by its members and exists to lead, represent and support the work of housing associations and co-operatives throughout Scotland www.sfha.co.uk
  3. The SFHA is the voice of the principal builders and managers of new affordable housing for rent in Scotland. Housing associations own and manage around 40% of the country’s affordable rented housing stock, over a quarter of a million homes across Scotland.
  4. Housing associations and co-operatives are not-for-profit bodies regulated by the Scottish Housing Regulator.