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12 January 2017

Scotland’s Fuel Poverty Rates are Highest in the UK

With fuel poverty becoming an increasingly widespread issue throughout the UK, countless schemes and initiatives are springing up in an attempt to counteract the problem. From innovative products to improved insulation to entire purpose-built villages, people are finally starting to take notice. Unfortunately for Scottish residents however, rates in the country far exceed those in the rest of the UK, with the worst affected area’s fuel poverty rate sitting a staggering 17.2% higher than the UK average.

Img: End Fuel Poverty
According to the new research from MoneySuperMarket, which analysed both fuel poverty and energy wastage rates, the top 5 worst-affected cities are all Scottish, with Dundee taking the lead with a fuel poverty rate of 28%. To put that into perspective, the UK average is just 10.8%. Dundee is also ranked as the fifth worst city in the UK in terms of energy waste with a figure of £115 per household per year.

Following closely behind are the cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh, with fuel poverty rates of 26% and 25% respectively.

Scotland’s fuel poverty gap, defined as the average amount of money fuel poor households need to reach the minimum standard, is also substantially worse than the situation further south; the UK average is just £321, whereas Scotland’s figure reaches as high as £437.

The vast majority of wasted energy results from a combination of inefficient boilers and appliances, energy-intensive light bulbs, electronics left on standby and, likely the largest contributor, improper insulation. Just by being a bit more selective in our purchases and taking a look at our home insulation, making improvements where needed, these figures could be substantially reduced.

Stephen Murray, Energy Expert at MoneySuperMarket, also blames high tariffs for the issues experienced by many residents, as reported by Energy Live News, “Many of these households will still be on the most expensive tariffs and could save hundreds of pounds a year by switching, even to a tariff from the same supplier. For those most struggling, many suppliers have schemes and initiatives to help.”

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor in an attempt to expand his horizons.