Households facing greatest risk of fuel poverty least likely to access support, finds Citizens Advice
The households facing the greatest risk of fuel poverty are the least likely to access financial support, according to a new report from Citizens Advice Scotland.
The report, released today, identified those in rented flats, both in the private and socially rented sector, households in rural areas and those relying on electric heating as particularly at risk of experiencing fuel poverty. Younger, working age households are also in greater need.
Calling for additional financial support for those worst affected by fuel poverty, CAS recommended that more should be done to improve awareness of existing advice and support services.
CAS energy spokesperson Craig Salter said: “This research give us a vital insight into the real life experiences of those who are defined as fuel poor, and the specific support needs of households in different circumstances.
“It comes at a crucial time, with fuel poverty rates in Scotland still unacceptably high and energy prices continuing to rise at several times the rate of inflation. Positive steps are being taken by the Scottish Government to introduce a more accurate definition of fuel poverty and develop a new strategy to eradicate it. However for this strategy to succeed, it must reflect the real experiences and support needs of those who are actually in fuel poverty.
“This research points towards some of the key priorities for the successful eradication of fuel poverty. These include: providing financial support to increase incomes or reduce fuel bills; ensuring that higher living costs in remote rural areas are taken into account; and targeting appropriate support at those with the greatest need.
“We hope that this research will help to inform future fuel poverty policies, as well as wider energy and social justice policies, and ensure that they have the interests of fuel poor households at their heart.”
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