Around one third of households in Scotland suffer from fuel poverty. A shocking statistic for a wealthy country that has an abundance of energy resources. A warm, dry home should be a basic right.
There are three main elements to tackling fuel poverty – the price of fuel, energy efficiency/use and household income. UNISON Scotland has campaigned on all of these issues and will continue to urge governments to take action to eliminate fuel poverty.
We also recognise that our members can play a practical role in minimising fuel poverty. Many public service workers have to address the consequences of fuel poverty in their daily jobs. They see the damage it does to families and communities.
That’s why we work with our partners in the Keeping Scotland Warm campaign, Energy Action Scotland and National Grid, to take practical action to reduce the impact of fuel poverty. This includes raising awareness of the practical support and guidance that is available from a range of agencies.
This booklet is part of that initiative. Our partner, Energy Action Scotland, has brought together a range of resources, with links to more detailed guidance. We hope this concise introduction will support UNISON members to help others to make the most of the resources available. It will also help the many low paid UNISON members who also suffer from fuel poverty.
This booklet won’t eliminate fuel poverty – that requires political action. The aim is to raise awareness and promote the practical measures that can help minimise the impact of fuel poverty on a third of our fellow citizens.