Figures released by Scottish Government show that in 2016, 26.5% (or around 649,000) households were fuel poor and 7.5% (or 183,000 households) were living in extreme fuel poverty.
This is a fall since the previous year when 748,000 households (30.7%) were fuel poor.
Norman Kerr, Director of Energy Action Scotland (EAS) welcomed the reduction. He said: “I am pleased to see the number of fuel poor households decrease, which is a move in the right direction.
“The news that fewer people are living in cold damp homes is to be welcomed but unfortunately a return to 2007 levels of fuel poverty is still far from ‘job done’.
“About a third of the drop in the annual fuel poverty level in 2016 is due to making homes in Scotland more energy efficient, while around two thirds are due to lower domestic energy prices.
“This underlines how important it is that the energy efficiency of homes should continue to be improved, particularly as it is unlikely that energy prices will remain relatively low as recent increases in electricity prices demonstrate.
“The Scottish Government is right to continue to fund programmes that aim to stop homes leaking heat and to provide modern and efficient heating however continued and higher investment in these is needed.
“But this action to improve the housing stock must in fact be stepped up – particularly in rural areas where fuel poverty levels have remained the same.”
6 Dec 2017