The percentage of Scottish housing association households in fuel poverty is higher than the overall national average – despite their housing being the most energy efficient.
Now, the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) says the figures show social landlords need more support to further improve the energy efficiency of their stock in order to help their tenants who are on lower incomes and more vulnerable to fuel poverty.
The fuel poverty statistics are reported in a Scottish House Condition Survey (SHCS) report.
They show the overall level of fuel poverty amongst Scottish households is down about four percentage points and is now at 26.5%.
Housing associations have the most energy efficient stock by tenure and their overall fuel poverty level has decreased by 0.5%.
However, at 27%, there are more housing association households in fuel poverty compared to the national average (26.5%).
These statistics come as the Scottish Government consults on proposals for a new fuel poverty strategy.
The publication of the new draft strategy follows a failure to meet a previous target to end fuel poverty by November 2016.
Sarah Boyack, SFHA Head of Public Affairs, said: “While we welcome the decrease in fuel poverty levels, they still remain unacceptably high.
“It is particularly concerning that the percentage of housing association households in fuel poverty is higher than the overall national average, despite their housing being the most energy efficient.
“The figures demonstrate that social landlords need more support to further improve the energy efficiency of their stock in order to help their tenants who are on lower incomes and therefore more vulnerable to fuel poverty.
“These latest figures should act as a wake-up call, with almost a third of households in Scotland still in fuel poverty.
“We are calling on the Scottish Government to increase its funding for fuel poverty schemes to support investment in home energy efficiency, micro-renewables, and energy advice for households struggling with fuel bills.
“These figures are timely as they come a week before the Scottish Government unveils its draft budget for 2018–19 and with a consultation open on a new Fuel Poverty Strategy for Scotland.
“The government must take this opportunity to ramp up investment to eliminate fuel poverty once and for all.”