A Renfrewshire councillor has commented on the issue of fuel concerns for social housing tenants.

It follows a report from the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) to the Scottish Parliament’s Net Zero, Energy and Transport Committee inquiry into rising energy prices.

In a submission to the Parliament the SFHA said tenants are experiencing increased financial hardship, and social landlords have seen a growing demand for energy advice and help with fuel costs, even amongst tenants who had not previously required support.

The document explains that people in social housing are already more likely to live in fuel poverty than those who own their home, largely due to lower incomes.

SFHA is calling for improved targeting of financial support, wider energy market reforms, investment in frontline advice services and acceleration of social housing retrofit programmes.

Councillor Kenny MacLaren, SNP – Paisley Northwest, said: “Even before the energy crisis people living in social housing were more likely to be in fuel poverty than those who own their home, largely due to tenants’ lower income levels”.

“It is extremely worrying that SFHA members (which are local housing associations across Scotland) are already reporting an increase in fuel debt and energy rationing amongst their tenants. Without urgent action the situation will continue to get worse, with more tenants pushed into fuel poverty.

“The UK Tory Government’s £200 electricity bill discount will, ultimately, do little to support those most at risk of fuel poverty, and the requirement to pay this back could leave many worse off. Energy market reforms are needed to increase fairness for customers, and support for households should relate to their individual financial and household situation.

“It is a disgrace that anyone in an energy rich nation like Scotland should be suffering from fuel poverty and facing problems paying such bills.”