Fuel poor households to lose £50 million
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Central Government and also in Housing
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Scotland’s most vulnerable households will be hit hardest by the Tory-led coalition's proposed changes to the energy company obligation (ECO), the Scottish government has claimed.
The UK government’s own analysis states that spending by energy companies under the ECO is expected to be cut by around £500 million a year across the country - which would mean an annual reduction of around £50m in Scotland, based on its population.
The Scottish government says the cut will lead to a shift away from the kind of measures needed by many fuel poor households in Scotland, such as insulation for hard to treat cavities and solid walls, in favour of cheaper efforts.
The government has warned that the country's poorest households will be hit hardest, with fewer funds available to cover current measures used to tackle fuel poverty.
Speaking ahead of a fuel poverty debate to be held today, housing and welfare minister Margaret Burgess said: “Changes to the UK government’s ECO will significantly reduce resources, cutting expenditure in Scotland for energy efficiency and fuel poverty measures and will put further improvements in serious danger.
“The cut to ECO of around £50m will have serious consequences for homes in fuel poverty and jobs in Scotland.
“Insulating hard to treat cavities and solid walls is essential to making progress in reducing emissions from housing and helping families struggling with energy bills.
“We believe that a more comprehensive and fairer service for those vulnerable to fuel poverty can be provided with a properly planned and government funded service, working with delivery partners, which is our approach through the home energy efficiency programmes for Scotland. This is far better than relying on the kind of market incentive system favoured by the UK government.”