The Scottish government fights fuel poverty with a budget of £60 million, or about $90 million, which has been allocated to help the cause. This funding will be going towards installing wall insulation and double glazing to keep in the heat in peoples’ homes. The Scottish government fights fuel poverty by giving the full amount of money to those with high levels of fuel poverty, a growing problem in Scotland. These are people who do not have enough access to fuel and cannot heat their homes; so in winter they are forced to suffer the cold without much heat other than starting a fire. The households that receive wall insulation and double glazing will also be offered an energy efficient plan.
Fuel poverty is an issue that is affecting multiple locations in the world, although Scotland has a growing problem. In 2012, spiking prices of fuel led nearly 100,000 Scotland homes into fuel poverty. This forces families to choose between being too cold or too hungry; they cannot afford to get groceries and heat their homes at the same time. The price of heating one’s home for a week could completely destroy their food budget for that week. In October 2011, it is said that 684,000 in Scotland use more than 10% of their income on fuel, which is a 28,000 people increase from the year before. To make matters worse, more than half of those in fuel poverty are pensioners. Also, 7.8% of people were in extreme fuel poverty as of October 2011, meaning they spend more than 1/5 of their income on fuel.
The Scottish government fights fuel poverty with a pledge: it pledges to eradicate fuel poverty in its entirety by November 2016. Housing and Welfare Minister Margaret Burgess has supported the cause of ending fuel poverty, and has made it a priority. She, among others, encourages the government to do even more to help reduce fuel poverty, and to make it a priority across the continent. The $90 million budget to insulate homes is a good start, but more must be done to continue the trend of stopping fuel poverty.
– Corina Balsamo