Scottish fuel poverty ‘worse than rest of UK’

Fuel poverty in Scotland is significantly worse than in the rest of the UK. Scottish cities filled the top five places on a leader board of the worst afflicted areas, […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

Fuel poverty in Scotland is significantly worse than in the rest of the UK.

Scottish cities filled the top five places on a leader board of the worst afflicted areas, with rates way above the UK average of 10.8% of households, according to new data from MoneySuperMarket.

The data also highlights the amount of household energy wasted in cities across the UK, which results largely from inefficient boilers, bulbs and insulation, as well as devices being left on standby rather than being turned off.

Dundee takes the top spot for fuel poverty, with 28% of residents unable to pay their bills. The city is also rated the fifth worst in the UK for wasting energy, at £115 a year.

Glasgow and Edinburgh follow closely behind, with rates of 26% and 25% respectively.

The fuel poverty gap, which is the average amount of money fuel poor households need to reach the minimum standard, is also worse north of the border. In the UK the average is £321, whereas in Scotland it stretches up to £437.

Stephen Murray, Energy Expert at MoneySuperMarket, said: “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.”

However, around 97,000 Scottish households escaped from extreme fuel poverty between 2014 and 2015.