Fuel and transport poverty in Scotland : actions towards accurately identifying fuel and transport

Boyd, Keran Sarah and Calvillo, Christian and Mueller, Tanja and Mu, Xiaoyi and Zhu, Tong (2023) Fuel and transport poverty in Scotland : actions towards accurately identifying fuel and transport. University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.

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Fuel poverty is characterized by the inability to access energy and adequately heat homes. Transport poverty is an adjacent issue often stemming from the same underlying vulnerability, and is inherently linked to fuel poverty with both being associated with household spending decisions. Fuel poverty in Scotland is a growing concern. Although the Fuel Poverty Act was recently introduced to formalise the national strategy, research suggests that the criteria for identifying vulnerable households will not adequately identify those in fuel poverty. The National Transport Strategy proposing equitable and affordable transport does not intersect with policy on fuel poverty and lacks recent data. Similar to fuel poverty, the government strategy to address transport poverty considers cost as the primary driver despite clear evidence in the literature that the issue is multidimensional, with many contributing factors. The research literature suggests the existence of 'double energy vulnerability', i.e., households are often vulnerable to both transport and fuel poverty for often overlapping reasons, and that risk-based assessments of vulnerability should guide indicators for both conditions. Using multidimensional indicators which take account non-expenditure-based factors may lead to better identification of fuel and transport poverty, allowing to mitigate negative consequences associated with both phenomena, including mortality.

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