22. Island Proofing
22.1. The Islands Bill (currently going through parliamentary stages) will place a requirement on public bodies, including the Scottish Government, to prepare an Island Communities Impact Assessment when the impact on island communities of a new or revised policy is likely to be different from the effect on other communities. This requirement has not yet been made law, however the impact on island communities has been considered and taken into account here and will be taken into account as the proposals move forward.
22.2. As well as the geographical differences, there are a lot of strong similarities between Scottish Islands. These include resilience and a sense of community, but nevertheless there are challenges not faced by other locations. Island inhabitants can be at risk of social isolation, and have difficulties accessing housing, health and others public services. Current delivery of our energy efficiency and fuel poverty programmes treats remote areas and islands favourably. The distribution model to allocate Area Based Schemes ( ABS) funding takes higher levels of fuel poverty into account so island councils typically receive around three times the level of funding per head of population than mainland councils. The Warmer Homes Scotland programme operates a National Customer Price mechanism. This is designed to take into account the higher delivery costs of installing energy efficiency measures in the islands and other remote regions and ensures that the customers in these areas are able to access the same quality of service and the same interventions that those in the more accessible regions do.