Lochalsh and Skye
AN ENERGY advice service has welcomed a report highlighting the need for rural Scotland to be made a priority when tackling fuel poverty.
According to Lochalsh and Skye Housing Association (LSHA)’s energy advice service, fuel bills in areas such as Skye are regularly £1,000 a year higher than Scottish averages. It was therefore encouraged that the report by the Scottish Rural Fuel Poverty Task Force stressed geography should not be a barrier to households achieving affordable warmth and that remedial actions and support should be prioritised to the most vulnerable households.
Donnie MacKay, who was part of the task force and is energy advice manager for LSHA, said for too long the focus has been on the ‘easy wins’, such as cavity wall and loft insulation and that it is time to focus efforts on more challenging properties, otherwise there will never be an end to fuel poverty.
He added: ‘Remote rural Scotland has twice the percentage of households in fuel poverty as urban Scotland and that should shame us all.
‘In the year that fuel poverty is meant to have been eradicated, it should be a sharp reminder to local and national government that, in terms of accessing the basic human right of affordable warmth, we have a divided country with divided opportunities.’