Using Geographical Information Science to detect fuel poverty trends in Scotland
Liann Rafter Dissertation.doc (1.595Mb)
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Overall, fuel poverty is of significant social concern to the Scottish population and occurs when a household spends 10% or more of their income on fuel to adequately heat their home. The main factors influencing fuel poverty are fuel prices, income, and household condition. The government of Scotland is committed to eradicating fuel poverty as far as possible by 2016 however; the government cannot change fuel prices or household incomes. On the other hand, the government and other national agencies have created schemes and policies in order to improve housing conditions. The Scottish House Condition Survey measures fuel poverty in Scotland as it is imperative to identify which areas of Scotland have high rates of fuel poverty. Similarly, this paper identifies fuel poverty in Scotland at the local authority level and discusses the trends of fuel poverty from 2002 to 2012. Using Geographical Information Science (GIS) techniques such as spatial autocorrelation, bivariate correlation, and multi-criteria analysis, it was found that fuel poverty has increased in strength and changed locations since 2002. This is largely due to the increase in fuel prices during the same time period. Additionally, there were more local authorities at the highest level of risk to fuel poverty in 2012 than in 2002. In particular, fuel poverty in Scotland is linked with people on low incomes in private and or terraced homes.