Frequently Asked Questions - Will independence help to address fuel poverty?
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Yes. The current UK regulatory model has done little to increase households’ ability to access low cost ‘dual fuel’ tariffs, where gas and electricity are provided by the same supplier. Around nine per cent of households in Scotland are without mains gas and 43 per cent of these households live in fuel poverty.
Under the limited powers currently available to it, the current Scottish Government is doing everything possible to meet the statutory target to eradicate fuel poverty as far as is reasonably practicable by 2016. With independence, and if in power following the 2016 election, we will transfer responsibility for the Energy Company Obligation and the Warm Homes Discount from energy companies to the Scottish Government, meeting the costs from central government budgets. By passing on these cost reductions to their consumers, energy companies would be required to reduce bills by around five per cent or approximately £70 per year.
We are also committed to retaining the statutory target. Our approach is that, following independence, there should be a commitment to continue the overall levels of funding available to tackle fuel poverty – currently at least £200 million a year.
Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.