Energy crisis and price cap rise ‘could force 150,000 more Scots into fuel poverty’
An extra 150,000 people in Scotland could be forced into fuel poverty this winter due to an increase in energy prices, Energy Action Scotland has warned.
In recent weeks there has been an unprecedented increase in global gas prices which is putting financial pressure on suppliers.
The charity said energy bills rise by an average of £375 this winter compared with last year, with the 12% increase in the energy price cap alone resulting in more than one million people across the country being unable to afford to heat their homes adequately.
Energy Action Scotland CEO Frazer Scott told The Herald that support systems had to be put in place to help those struggling, or three-quarters of a million Scots could be facing the winter months without adequate means to heat their homes and keep the lights on.
He said: “A lot of properties in some parts of Scotland are all electric. Gas is significantly cheaper than electricity to achieve the same levels of comfort. A much higher proportion of houses in Scotland are all electrical or off-gas than down south, so that’s why Scots have a higher average fuel bill. You could say it is also partly down to our climate.”
Mr Scott said that estimates from 2019 showed around 613,000 households live in fuel poverty in Scotland – around 25% – but this is likely to have risen.
Combined with estimates that 150,000 more Scots will face fuel poverty as a result of the price cap increase from next month, he warned the winter will be “very tough” for a lot of families.
He said: “No matter how you look at this, it’s still terrible.
“Analysts are suggesting we are going to see another 10-12% rise in the spring [energy price cap] rise. It is a really terrifying prospect.”