Scotland’s private landlords should be coerced to improve energy efficiency as means of reducing fuel poverty


Private landlords across Scotland should be legally coerced to improve their properties’ energy efficiency in a bid to help tackle fuel poverty, according to campaigners.

Campaign group Energy Action Scotland (EAS) believes that new laws should be introduced to ensure the same energy efficiency standards apply in the private rented sector as they do in council and social housing, a news report has been able to reveal.

The new regulations should also force landlords to install double glazing, insulation or draught-proofing, the same source suggests.

Norman Kerr, director of EAS, has accused the Scottish Government of failing to do enough to help families who can’t afford to heat their homes, with ministers certain to miss their goal of ending fuel poverty by the end of November.

John Blackwood, chief executive of the Scottish Association of Landlords, said: “Landlords already spend millions of pounds each year upgrading and improving housing stock, much of which includes measures which contribute to reducing fuel poverty.

“However, due regard must be given to the different types of housing stock which private landlords are responsible for compared to social housing – this often makes some upgrades technically impossible or financially prohibitive.”

Ministers have been accused of missing their goal to eradicate fuel poverty this year “by a country mile”, with an estimated 800,000 people still struggling to afford to heat their homes.

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