UK Government Energy Plans – SFHA Comment
Published by SFHA for Scottish Federation Of Housing Associations in Central Government and also in Environment, Housing
Commenting on reports that the UK government plans to freeze energy prices and relax the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) (1), the SFHA welcomed the move to cap rises in bills, but warned the only way to keep bills down in the long term was a sustained programme to improve the energy efficiency of homes.
David Stewart, SFHA Policy Manager, said:
“We welcome the recognition from the UK Government that energy prices rises have got out of control, pushing many people in low incomes into fuel poverty. We already know that a third of households in Scotland are living in fuel poverty (2), often facing a choice between heating and eating.
“Housing associations and co-operatives have the most energy efficient homes in Scotland (3). However, over the past few years, hikes in fuel prices have posed a real challenge to our members who often house vulnerable people who are living on low incomes.
“The only way to ultimately tackle fuel poverty is to have a sustained programme of energy efficiency improvements for our homes. The SFHA is calling for any successor to ECO to be long term, funded out of general taxation and including rural properties and traditional stone tenements, which are a particular issue in Scotland.”
Mr Stewart concluded:
“To help vulnerable consumers in the meantime, we also call for energy companies to directly fund face-to-face energy advice for vulnerable consumers, in order to protect them from the worst impacts of price rises.”
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- The SFHA was established in 1976 and has around 119 members providing affordable housing and wider community services in Scotland, as well as a further 200 commercial members. The SFHA is owned by its membership and exists to support the work of housing associations and co-operatives in Scotland by providing services, advice and good practice guidance. www.sfha.co.uk
- 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.
- Housing associations and co-operatives are not-for-profit bodies regulated by the Scottish Housing Regulator.