Fuel Poverty in Shetland to hit 96% 

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The Leader of Shetland Islands Council has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, laying out stark predictions for household energy costs for those living in Shetland.

  • Islanders must earn a salary of £104,000 to avoid fuel poverty
  • Household energy cost twice that of mainland
  • Islands’ leader requests government intervention

By April, it is estimated that the average energy cost per year for a household in Shetland will be £10,300 – around double that of the UK.  Fuel poverty will increase to the point where, by that time, 96% of Shetland households could be spending 10% of their income on energy costs.  It is estimated that, by next April, a household in Shetland would need to earn £104,000 per annum to avoid being in fuel poverty.

Statistics show that, even under normal circumstances, the cost of living in Shetland is anything from 20-65% higher than the UK average.  Shetland’s significantly colder climate, coupled with the risk of poor insulation and lack of availability of cheaper energy options – for example, mains gas – further compound the effects on its island communities of the cost of living crisis.

Council Leader Emma Macdonald: “Our islands have been at the heart of oil and gas activity for over forty years, yet our people have not seen the benefits of that in terms of a lower cost of fuel.  

“Shetland has contributed, and will continue to contribute, significantly to UK energy exports, and yet people in our communities will struggle to heat their homes in the coming year.  This is particularly ironic, given the continued development of offshore and onshore renewable energy production around Shetland.  

“We are calling for UK government support to enable host communities to secure long-term community benefit arrangements, which could include access to low-cost energy for islanders.  But we also need immediate government help to address rising energy costs, which will have such a damaging impact on those who live in Shetland.”

Shetland's Energy - August 2022 (PDF, 0.2Mb)

Published: 29th August 2022