Fuel Poverty is a very real issue and of has significant side effects including on the health of those who are directly affected by it.
Shelter Scotland has launched the national Healthy Homes project to highlight the influence frontline staff have in the health and social sectors who it says should be utilised to help identify the 845,000 households in fuel poverty.
The highest incident rate of fuel poverty is among those living in traditional homes (43%) which also has the highest incident rate of homes which are not wind and watertight (72%) according to the Scottish Housing Condition Survey 2014.
Recent estimates claim that for every £1 spent reducing fuel poverty in Scotland, the NHS alone could save 42p and Shelter Scotland it as the potential to save NHS Scotland up to £80 million every year.
In 2002 the Scottish Government committed to eradicating fuel poverty as far as is reasonably practical by November 2016 and the Scottish Traditional Building Forum thinks that this can only be done by ensuring homes are wind and watertight THEN installing appropriate insulation.
- The Scottish Housing Condition Survey 2005/06 identified that 73% of traditional homes (pre 1919) were not wind and watertight. SHCS 2005/06
- The Scottish Housing Condition Survey 2014 identified that 72% of traditional homes were not wind and watertight. SHCS 2014
This is despite the Scottish Government highlighting that £600m spent on traditional buildings each year Our Place in Time
If we can influence how the £600m is spent then we can reduce the incident rate of traditional homes not being wind and watertight which in turn could assist in addressing fuel poverty and the resulting savings to the NHS in Scotland.