30 August 2023
SCOTTISH FUEL POVERTY ADVISORY PANEL VISIT INVERNESS TO HEAR ABOUT IMPACT OF ENERGY CRISIS ON RURAL AREAS
The Scottish Fuel Poverty Advisory Panel is visiting Inverness today (30 August 2023) to meet with organisations, advisers and those with lived experience of fuel poverty to discuss how it is affecting remote, rural and island communities.
The additional insight from this visit will form a key part in advising Scottish Ministers on rural poverty issues in a bid to tackle the key drivers and unique pressures faced by those living in challenging climates and off gas-grid.
The Panel will continue its public engagement through a series of discussions with Highland Council, ALIenergy, Changeworks, Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust and the Highlands & Islands Housing Associations Affordable Warmth group (HIHAAW) over two days as well as, crucially, meeting those experiencing fuel poverty to hear about the financial and health impacts of living in a cold home.
The Panel, appointed in 2022 to provide advice and scrutinise the Scottish Government on its progress in tackling the key drivers of fuel poverty, is engaging widely across the public, third and energy sectors to drive the changes needed.
Matthew Cole, Chair, Scottish Fuel Poverty Advisory Panel said:
“The recent report by Changeworks uncovered the devastating extent of rural fuel poverty in Scotland. With winter approaching and energy costs continuing to drive rising levels of fuel rationing, we know that off-gas grid households, the majority of which are located rurally, continue to face the most difficult of choices, such as whether to eat or heat. Action is needed to avoid the effects of the current crisis worsening and people’s quality of life being further impacted.
“We’re committed to working collaboratively to effectively tackle fuel poverty and ensure the right support is available. This visit will allow us to build our knowledge base to best ensure that the experience of – and challenges faced by – Scotland’s rural and island households are fully considered in fuel poverty reduction efforts.”
For further information contact Linda McKell at Smarts on 07967 503 912 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Scottish Fuel Poverty Advisory Panel is an independent, statutory advisory Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB). It was appointed on the 1 January 2022 through provisions in The Fuel Poverty (Scotland) Act 2019. The Panel takes over from the previous non-statutory Scottish Fuel Poverty Advisory Panel.
The Panel’s role is to monitor the Scottish Government’s progress towards meeting its statutory fuel poverty targets.
The Panel also contributes to policy development to tackle both fuel poverty and extreme fuel poverty in Scotland.