SFHA: Rise in Energy Prices Will Force More Scots into Fuel Poverty
Published by SFHA for Scottish Federation Of Housing Associations in Housing and also in Bill Payments, Communities
Commenting on the rise in gas and electricity prices announced today (Thursday 10th October), the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) said that it is concerned this will cause more Scots to experience fuel poverty, especially as many households are already struggling financially due to welfare reform.
David Stewart, SFHA Policy Manager said:
“The SFHA is dismayed and disappointed at this increase which will push more Scottish households into fuel poverty. We already know that a third of households in Scotland are living in fuel poverty (1), often facing a choice between heating and eating. This increase in prices will push more people into that stark choice and comes at a time when many are struggling due to cuts to welfare spending by the UK Government.
“Housing associations and co-operatives have the most energy efficient homes in Scotland (2). 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.”
Mr Stewart continued:
“This price increase means that it is more important than ever that significant investment is made in retrofitting existing homes in order to improve their energy efficiency. This will in turn protect households against the impacts of future price rises.
“We urge the energy companies to work with social landlords to invest in programmes that will improve the energy efficiency of their homes.
“The SFHA continues to work with our members to address fuel poverty. Our Carbon Portal project has already helped social landlords to identify which homes require investment to improve their energy efficiency. The project has also drawn in significant levels of funding from energy companies. (3)
“We therefore 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 these above inflation price rises.”
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2. Scottish House Conditions Survey: Key Findings 2011 http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2012/12/4995/downloads
4. 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
5. 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.
6. Housing associations and co-operatives are not-for-profit bodies regulated by the Scottish Housing Regulator.