The Scottish Fuel Poverty Advisory Panel - Workplan 2024-2025

This is the Panel’s workplan for 2024-2025.

The Scottish Fuel Poverty Advisory Panel Workplan – March 2024 – April 2025.pdf

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The transition to net zero offers the opportunity to create a more equitable energy system with the prospect of an end to fuel poverty, if this transformation is accompanied by fair energy prices and supportive policy choices. A point which we make in our Strategic Plan (April 2024 to March 2027). We recognise that there is a tension between immediate crisis relief and long-term measures to eradicate fuel poverty, and how the current fiscal challenges facing the Scottish and UK Governments are exacerbating this tension. Along with many other organisations, we have highlighted how high energy prices, in spite of prices starting to reduce over the last year, have pushed already high fuel poverty rates even higher[1]. High energy prices are currently the primary driver of fuel poverty in Scotland. The impact on those in fuel poverty of the net zero driver of energy system reform, coupled with higher and more volatile energy prices, underpin the four thematic areas in this, our first annual workplan (April 2024 to March 2025). These four themes are the funding landscape, rural fuel poverty, heat networks, and fuel poverty and health outcomes.

Fuel poverty is not inevitable. We are at an epoch changing moment as the energy market restructures to one supplied predominantly through renewables and away from fossil fuels, presenting a real opportunity to achieve lower and less volatile energy prices. There is a key question to be answered around how this transition can tackle fuel poverty head-on, rather than solely avoiding detriment, although avoiding detriment is vital too. This question is a thread which runs through our four themes:

  • whether the current funding landscape is effectively supporting the transition while protecting those in immediate need
  • whether the transition is working for those in the deepest fuel poverty – particularly those living rurally
  • where the role of heat networks lies in the transition and what models work well in alleviating fuel poverty, and,
  • whether taking a public health approach to fuel poverty can improve health outcomes for the fuel poor while facilitating the energy transition.

We will use research to underpin our exploration of these four themes – working within the resource constraints of our small organisation.

We will use our findings to offer advice to the Scottish Government – shining a light on issues and also good practice, as a lever to influence the UK Government, and as an opportunity to support further collaboration across the fuel poverty landscape in Scotland and beyond.

Who we are

The Panel is an independent advisory Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB), established under The Fuel Poverty (Targets, Definition and Strategy) (Scotland) Act 2019, set up to support Scottish Ministers and others to help eradicate fuel poverty in Scotland.

We are a small organisation of five panel members – four of whom work 12 days a year – with the chairing member working 15. We are supported by a Secretariat of 3.


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