Alarming report reveals number of Ayrshire households living in fuel poverty


New figures have shown that an alarming number of households in Ayrshire live in fuel poverty.

Figures from Energy Action Scotland (EAS) indicate that 23% of households in South Ayrshire are considered ‘fuel poor’.

But the figure for East Ayrshire is even worse – with 27% of households struggling to pay their fuel bills.

North Ayrshire tops the region’s fuel poor list with 28% of households affected by the problem.

The statistics are contained in a new report from the EAS and were geographically captured for the first time.

Topping the list are the Western Isles, where 40 percent of households struggle to pay their fuel bills, compared to just 13 percent in wealthy East Renfrewshire.

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Fuel poverty is defined by the Scottish Government as any household spending more than 10 percent of its income on energy – after deducting housing costs.

The Scottish average was 24 percent of all households.

“It is perhaps not surprising to most people that the Western Isles are the most fuel-poor part of the country given inclement weather conditions, reliance on electric heat and low levels of energy efficiency, but the extent of the problem is alarming, “EAS said. Managing Director Frazer Scott.

“Two out of five households cannot afford to heat their house is a problem that must be addressed urgently”,

EAS is now urging the UK government to cut VAT on energy bills, redistribute the VAT windfall already received to help those on the lowest incomes, and consider ‘sweeping reforms’ to ensure protection for consumers. vulnerable households poor in fuel.

Mr. Scott said: “This is not a problem that is going to go away; it is only likely to get worse.

“We estimate that as prices soar, more than 100,000 additional households will find it difficult to heat their homes.

“We urgently need more government action to improve the energy efficiency of homes across the country, but especially for households that suffer from the highest rates of fuel poverty. “

Industry analysts have warned that continued volatility in wholesale energy markets could push the average household energy bill to more than £ 700 to £ 2,000 per year from April.

Mr. Scott added: “Continued inaction will cost lives. Over 2,000 more people die in winter when cold, damp homes reduce health and well-being than they do in summer.

Meanwhile, Ayr MSP Siobhian Brown is urging locals to check if they are eligible for financial assistance from a Scottish government program to tackle fuel poverty.

Warmer Homes Scotland has been supporting the people of Ayr constituency since 2015 – homes saving an average of £ 240.37 per year on their energy bills.

The program provides a step-by-step service to identify where energy improvements can be made in the home, such as new central heating systems or air source heat pumps, and has these jobs done by licensed craftsmen.

It is open to owners or tenants of private owners.

Ms Brown said: “I am delighted to hear that the Warmer Homes Scotland program has supported 370 people in my constituency since 2015.

“However, the reality is that many more may be eligible for help to make their homes warmer, greener and more comfortable. I encourage everyone to check their eligibility, as the enhancements offered by the program could make a real difference financially now and in the years to come.

Warmworks Scotland Managing Director Ross Armstrong said: “The Warmer Homes Scotland program has been helping people across Scotland to feel warmer and more comfortable in their homes for six years.

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