A National Statistics Publication for Scotland

Between 2012 and 2013, fuel poverty increased by 4 percentage points from 35.2% to 39.1%. This represents an increase of around 100,000 households from the previous year, reaching 940,000 in 2013. Around 252,000 of these households (10.5%) were in extreme fuel poverty. This increase was driven by a 7% increase in fuel prices between 2012 and 2013.

Statistics on fuel poverty, energy efficiency, the condition of housing, the Scottish Housing Quality Standard (SHQS) and other key descriptors of the occupied housing stock in Scotland have been released today by Scotland’s Chief Statistician.

This publication provides the first release of information from the Scottish House Condition Survey (SHCS) for the year January to December 2013. It includes Local Authority tables giving breakdowns of key SHCS measures by Local Authority using combined data over the three year survey period 2011-2013, and a Methodology Report giving details of the methodological improvement in modelling energy use in the home.

With this publication the SHCS is moving to new updated method of modelling energy use in the home which underpins estimates of fuel poverty, carbon emissions and energy efficiency.

The results from the survey show that the long term trend of improving energy efficiency of the housing stock continues:

  • Over a third of all Scottish dwellings are now in Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Band C or better, an increase of over 13 percentage points since 2010 and 7 percentage points in the last year.
  • The Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP 2009) is the methodology underpinning the calculation of energy performance rating in the EPC. It provides an index of modelled running costs for heating, hot water, lighting and ventilation. The resulting score runs from 1 (poor) to 100 (excellent). SAP scores are grouped in EPC bands, where A stands for high energy efficiency and G stands for poor energy efficiency.

EPC Ratings of the Scottish Housing Stock, 2010-2013 (SAP 2009)

  • Half of all Scottish dwellings are now rated 66 or higher. This compares to a rating of 62 in 2010 and 64 in 2012 for the average Scottish dwelling.
  • The largest increase in Energy Efficiency Rating in the past year was observed among Housing Associations. The average housing association rating was a SAP score of 69, equivalent to a C rating.
  • The share of homes with lofts insulated to 100 mm or more has grown by 10 percentage points in the last 3 years to reach 92% in 2013. Lofts insulated to 200 mm or more now account for 62% of homes with lofts, compared to 35% in 2010.
  • Levels of cavity wall insulation have risen to reach 69% of all cavity wall dwellings, increasing by 3 percentage points since 2012.
  • At 11%, the share of insulated solid wall dwellings has remained unchanged since 2010.

Despite improvements in energy efficiency higher energy prices led to an increase in fuel poverty rates

  • Increase in fuel prices alone would have led to nearly 6 percentage points rise in fuel poverty. Around one third of this potential increase (1.9 percentage points) was mitigated by growth in household income and improvements in the housing stock. Housing improvement contributed 0.4 percentage points of the mitigating effect, while the rest was due to income.
  • Since 2010 energy efficiency improvements have led to an 8% drop in the energy needs of the average household, while the cost of that energy has risen by 20%.
  • Between 2003/4 and 2013 fuel prices rose significantly faster than household incomes, such that by 2013 fuel price had more than doubled, while mean household income was up by less than a third.
  • The SHCS fuel poverty statistics overstate to some degree the number of fuel poor households in Scotland because they do not take into account Warm Homes Discount scheme bill rebates and because the income of additional adults in the household is not included.
  • Nearly three quarters of households say that their heating keeps them warm in winter, while the rest say they can only keep warm sometimes (20%) or never (5%). 8% of households report that they cannot afford to heat their home in winter.

Carbon Emissions are falling

  • The level of carbon emissions from the average Scottish dwelling, as predicted from standard energy use, has fallen by 3.6% between 2012 and 2013. This represents the largest annual reduction since 2010.
  • The average EPC Environmental Impact Rating (EIR) has increased by 3 points, to 63, in the last year, indicating a reduction in carbon emissions per square metre of area.
  • Carbon emissions modelled from the SHCS are different from the Greenhouse Gas Inventory, which is the source for monitoring progress against the Scottish Government’s climate change commitments, and from emissions in the Second Report on Proposals and Policies (RPP2). SHCS emissions statistics do not incorporate information on actual energy use.

Quality indicators show some improvement

  • The level of disrepair to critical elements fell by around 4 percentage points to 57% in 2013.
  • The rate of urgent disrepair also fell by around 3 percentage points to 36% in 2013.
  • Rates of extensive disrepair (7%), damp (4%) and condensation (10%) remain unchanged since 2012
  • There was no statistically significant change in compliance with the tolerable standard in 2013, continuing a flat trend since 2010. 3.0% (71,000 dwellings) of all dwellings fell below the tolerable standard in 2013,
  • The proportion of social housing dwellings which do not meet the Scottish Housing Quality Standard (SHQS) declined by around 9 percentage points between 2012 and 2013. 43% of social housing fall below the SHQS, compared with 51% of private housing.
  • The greatest SHQS improvement was found in the Energy Efficient criterion in the social sector. There was a 10 percentage point reduction in non-compliance, down to 28% in 2013.
  • Overcrowding levels in Scotland remain unchanged from previous years. 3% of all households (75,000) were overcrowded under The Bedroom Standard in 2013.

Local Authority Tables 2011-2013

  • Local Authority estimates are based on a 3 years’ worth of data (2011-13) in order to obtain suitable sample sizes. The main national report is based on 2013 data only and he

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