The Scottish Fuel Poverty Advisory Panel - Strategic Plan 2024-2027

This is the Panel’s first Strategic Plan. It covers three years – 2024-2027 – and will inform the Panel’s work over the next three years. It sets out the Panel’s strategic goals, what it aims to do to deliver these and how it will measure its progress. There is an accompanying logic model which is a visual representation of how the Panel expect its strategic goals (inputs) to be achieved (outcomes) through its work (outputs).

The Scottish Fuel Poverty Advisory Panel Strategic Plan 2024-2027.pdf

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 Foreword – Scottish Fuel Advisory Panel Chair 

This is the Scottish Fuel Poverty Advisory Panel’s first strategic plan. The current Panel was appointed at the beginning of 2022, and we have worked across Scotland, and beyond, to shape the Panel’s role and establish its voice. We have listened to a broad range of stakeholders – those with lived experience of fuel poverty, with the third sector (advice agencies and housing associations), national (the Scottish and UK governments) and local government, the energy sector (retail and network energy companies and trade associations), the regulator (Ofgem) and the Energy Ombudsman. This has been against a backdrop of the most challenging of times for those suffering fuel and extreme fuel poverty.  

The beginning of the energy price crisis coincided with the set-up of the Panel.  Since when, energy costs have spiralled resulting in government intervention in the domestic energy markets and contributing to the budgetary challenge of high inflation across both domestic and national budgets. The energy price crisis has made debate on the most supportive and effective policies and programmes to alleviate and end fuel poverty, and the wider cost of living crisis, more important than ever. This debate is also undoubtedly made more difficult by the uncertainty created by the ongoing threat to energy security, caused by global conflicts and the challenge of the drive to net zero. 

Our transition to net zero allows us to change the energy system for all. And accompanied by fair energy prices and supportive policy choices could facilitate the eradication of fuel poverty. It is critical however that the approach to net zero delivery does not inadvertently deepen, rather than mitigate, fuel poverty. The context for the drive to net zero – the hardship being experienced by those in fuel, and extreme fuel poverty, in Scotland now – needs to inform net zero strategy, policy and delivery at every level. The proportion of Scotland’s households, which have been living in fuel poverty over the last two years, is at a level that would have been unthinkable when the Scottish Government first published its Tackling Fuel Poverty – a Strategic Approach in October 2021 – just over 2 years ago. [The findings of the, recently published, Scottish House Condition Survey, estimate that in 2022, 31% (around 791,000 households) were living in fuel poverty and 18.5% (472,000 households) of those living in fuel poverty experienced extreme fuel poverty.] 

These challenges make the Panel’s work and engagement, and what it can bring to the Scottish and UK debate on fuel poverty, pivotal. We have endeavoured to reflect this in our strategic plan.  

Matthew Cole 

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