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'Horrifying' stats show over a third of Scottish households in fuel poverty

The findings by National Energy Action have led to calls for the Scottish Parliament to have more powers over energy <i>(Image: PA)</i>
The findings by National Energy Action have led to calls for the Scottish Parliament to have more powers over energy (Image: PA)

MORE than a third of households are in fuel poverty in energy-rich Scotland, shocking new statistics have shown.

Figures from National Energy Action (NEA) show around 850,000 (34%) are in fuel poverty while more than half a million (23%) are in extreme fuel poverty.

The findings have led to fresh calls for the Scottish Parliament to be given powers over energy by Westminster.

Polling by NEA also found that of the 49% of adults in the UK that had turned their heating off even though it was cold over the last three months, Scots were more likely to say they had done so.

This is all while Scotland produces six times more gas than it consumes and two thirds of its electricity comes from renewable sources in Scotland.

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Dave Doogan, the SNP’s energy spokesperson, said the statistics were “horrifying”.

He said: “This is the consequence of decades of failed energy policy from Westminster governments we haven’t voted for.

“For too long the UK Treasury has raked in the profits that Scotland's natural resources have generated, while seeing nothing in return.

“We saw it again with the recent Autumn Statement - the Westminster government failed to use the profits to give families in Scotland a £400 energy rebate. If Westminster won’t act, it must devolve energy and welfare powers to Scotland so we can.

"It is clear that only with the full powers of independence can we chart our own course to green growth in a wider European market. Scotland has the energy, we just need the powers."

The poll showed of the 41% of UK prepayment customers who were self-disconnected over the last three months, Scottish households with prepayment meters were more likely to say they had done this.

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And of the 43% of UK adults who had gone to bed to stay warm over the last three months, Scots were more likely to say they had done so.

The SNP called for action from the UK Government last month as data revealed  the three parliamentary constituencies facing the highest average increase in energy bills were in Scotland.

Orkney and Shetland, Ross, Skye and Lochaber and Na h-Eileanan an Iar face the highest average increases in energy bills, with £227, £219 and £206 respectively.

The Glasgow Central seat was also 12th on the list, with an increase expected of £154 on average per household.

At the other end of the scale, Esher and Walton, Chesham and Amersham and Beaconsfield in the south of England are set to see an average drop in prices of £159, £157 and £150.