This is a Scottish Government consultation paper that seeks views on proposals to tackle and diminish fuel poverty in Scotland. The paper will seek views on an approach that brings together actions from across government, and across society, to create a comprehensive strategy to deliver reductions in fuel poverty. The paper will also seek views on how progress should be monitored and how our aim to tackle fuel poverty effectively is translated into an appropriate statutory framework.
This consultation forms part of the response to recommendations made by the Scottish Fuel Poverty Strategic Working Group ( SWG) and the Scottish Rural Fuel Poverty Task Force ( RFPTF). Both groups explored many key issues in detail and this consultation paper will not duplicate those significant efforts, rather it will seek views on an approach that builds on that earlier work and incorporates new approaches that align with expert recommendations.
Consultation on a new fuel poverty strategy
This consultation document meets our Programme for Government and manifesto commitments to consult on a new fuel poverty strategy and introduce a Warm Homes Bill.
This consultation is set out in 8 sections and seeks views on specific issues relating to the purpose of the Warm Homes Bill (such as whether we have targets; what they are; and how progress is measured and monitored) and also the complexities of the strategy (such as how we account for local variations; how we ensure collective ownership is taken; and how the strategy can support and facilitate local partnerships). The consultation sets out our approach to focus on outcomes. This new approach will shift the focus of policy from processes and inputs towards the impact that the policy and its delivery has on people and communities. It also encourages public services and other key contributors to work together effectively, delivering the best possible outcomes for communities across Scotland.
Sections 1 and 2 set out the legislative and policy context, covering the opportunities presented by the introduction of new legislation and setting out the relevant policy interventions across government that will help deliver necessary reductions in fuel poverty.
Section 3 highlights differences in communities and seeks views on how we might address specific challenges in island areas.
Section 4 looks at the importance of partnership working, noting our collective responsibility as a society to address fuel poverty. This section seeks views on how national and local delivery partners could work better together.
Section 5 sets out proposals for a new fuel poverty target and seeks views on setting this in legislation. This section also explores how progress can be measured through various indicators.
Section 6 seeks views on how progress is monitored, evaluated and reported on, including establishing a new Fuel Poverty Advisory Panel and a Partnership Forum to replace the existing Fuel Poverty Forum.
Section 7 sets out an outcomes-focussed approach that aligns with principles recommended by the Scottish Fuel Poverty Strategic Working Group and Scottish Rural Fuel Poverty Task Force. This section seeks views on how the proposed outcomes framework could be improved.
Section 8 seeks views on any positive or negative impacts there may be of implementing the proposals.
Responses to this consultation will be analysed and that analysis published in spring 2018. A draft Fuel Poverty Strategy will be published shortly after that, prior to the introduction of the Warm Homes Bill to the Scottish Parliament.