Without central heating

Graphs on this page:

Supporting information:

Key points

  • Note that the latest data is currently for 2003/04 as the question has not been asked since then.
  • The proportion of low-income households without central heating has been falling sharply over recent years, from a quarter in in the mid-1990s to a tenth in 2003/04.  Indeed the proportion of poor households without central heating in 2003/04 was actually less than for households on average incomes in the mid-1990s.
  • Nevertheless, low-income households stills remain more likely to lack central heating than households on average incomes.
  • Those living in the private rented sector are the most likely to be without central heating.
  • The authorities with the highest proportion of households without central heating are the cities Glasgow, Dundee and Edinburgh plus Orkney.
  • Fuel poverty in Scotland is widespread: almost 750,000 (equivalent to one in every three) homes were suffering from it in 1996, of whom 180,000 were in ‘extreme’ fuel poverty spending more than 20% of their income on fuel. 1
  • Fewer households now lack central heating in Scotland than Great Britain as a whole: 8% of low-income households in Scotland compared to 14% for Great Britain, and 6% of Scottish households on average incomes in Scotland compared to 10% for Great Britain as a whole.  See the UK indicator on central heating.

Definitions and data sources

The first graph tackles the issue of the standard of housing through the measurement of the proportion of households without central heating, with separate figures for households in the poorest fifth of the population and for households on average incomes.  While the obvious choice for an indicator on housing standards would be one which measures changes in energy efficiency or fuel poverty over time, there is no reliable data on this subject currently available.  In any case, the subject of central heating is important in its own right, with clear commitments from the Scottish Government to have central heating installed throughout the social rented sector everywhere except Glasgow by 2004 and in Glasgow by 2006.

The second graph shows, for the latest year, how the proportion varies by housing tenure.

The data source for the first and second graphs is the Family Resources Survey (FRS).  Income is household disposable income, equivalised (adjusted) to take account of household composition and is measured after deducting housing costs.  The missing years in the first graph are because the question about central heating is only asked in some years.   Also note that the question has not been asked since 2003/04.

The third graph show how the proportion of households without central heating varies by local authority.  The map shows how the proportion of households without central heating varies at a small area level (the 2001 Census output areas).  The data is from the 2001 Census (table KS19).

Overall adequacy of the indicator: medium.  The FRS is a well-established, regular government survey, designed to be nationally representative, but the question has not been included in the survey since 2003/04.

External links

1. Scottish fuel poverty statement, Scottish Government, 2002, §4.2.