Fuel poverty in Shetland to hit 96% of the population

Officials have said people living in the Shetland Islands must earn a salary of £104,000 to avoid fuel poverty

The local authority in the Shetland Islands has warned that fuel poverty in the region could soon hit 96% of its total population.

Officials have predicted that by April 2023, 96% of Shetland households could be spending 10% of their income on energy costs.

It is estimated that the average household could pay £10,300 a year for the energy it uses – it is believed that this amount is nearly double that of the UK.

Islanders must earn a salary of £104,000 to avoid fuel poverty, the council has added.

Council Leader Emma Macdonald said: “Our islands have been at the heart of oil and gas activity for over forty years, yet our people have not seen the benefits of that in terms of a lower cost of fuel.

“Shetland has contributed, and will continue to contribute, significantly to UK energy exports, and yet people in our communities will struggle to heat their homes in the coming year.

“This is particularly ironic, given the continued development of offshore and onshore renewable energy production around Shetland.”

A government spokesperson told ELN: “We know the pressures people in Shetland and across the UK are facing with rising costs, which is why we have continually taken action to help households by phasing in £37 billion worth of support.

“This includes a £400 discount on energy bills over winter and eight million of the most vulnerable households will see £1,200 extra support.

“We also protect households and businesses in the North of Scotland, including Shetland, by providing around £90 million every year to reduce electricity distribution charges in that region.

“This is on top of the extra £82 million we provided to the Scottish Government to help vulnerable families across Scotland at their discretion.”

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