Date lodged: 27 November 2018
To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on the link between fuel poverty and excess winter deaths, and what action it is taken to address the issue.
Answered by: Kevin Stewart 11 December 2018
The National Records of Scotland caution that winter mortality can fluctuate significantly from one year to the next, and there can be a number of underlying factors behind this. Nonetheless, we recognise that living in an underheated home can have potential negative impacts on health, particularly for the elderly and people with pre-existing underlying conditions. That is why we are setting ambitious targets for the reduction of fuel poverty in the Fuel Poverty (Target, Definition and Strategy) (Scotland) Bill, and why addressing health inequalities is among the central aims of the accompanying draft strategy. We are also already taking actions to address the health impacts of fuel poverty. These include:
- continuing to work with NHS Health Scotland and other national partners within the advice and fuel poverty sectors to develop partnerships to improve collaborative working.
- funding Home Energy Scotland (HES) to provide free and impartial energy advice to all callers via a Freephone number and offer face to face support where this is the best option for the householder.
- continuing to deliver our HES Homecare pilot which is working closely with NHS colleagues to provide support to vulnerable households.