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Fuel poverty in Scotland: Refining spatial resolution in the Scottish Fuel Poverty Indicator using a GIS-based multiple risk index


Fuel poverty describes a complex interaction between households with low income and energy inefficiency. The Scottish Executive has charged local Scottish authorities with the task of eradicating fuel poverty by 2016. In order to direct investment and tackle fuel poverty, a local authority must know which areas are more likely to contain fuel poor households. Currently, local area fuel poverty indicators, based on small area statistics, are used to identify target areas. This paper proposes an innovative methodology for refinement of the Scottish Fuel Poverty Indicator using GIS as a framework for integrating census data with georeferenced energy efficiency data on local housing stock. This allows a multi-scale mapping of fuel poverty risk at both a census output area level and an individual dwelling level. The proposed methodology highlights small areas, and households, possibly susceptible to fuel poverty previously masked by the aggregation of statistics to large geographic units.