Rural Stirling ‘Hung Out To Dry’ in Cost of Living Crisis


Categories: Climate Change, Constituency, Energy, Governance, Independence, UK Government (Westminster)

‘Off-grid’ Homes Face High Heating Oil Costs

Local Stirling MP Alyn Smith has raised the issue of struggling rural homes in a Parliamentary debate, as those reliant on heating oil face a further wait for Government support.

In December, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy announced a one-off £200 payment would be made available to such households from February 2023. Those who pay for electricity directly to a supplier should receive the payment automatically, whilst those who do not pay an electricity bill directly to an energy supplier will need to apply online from February – from a yet to be launched portal.

In a debate led by Green MP Caroline Lucas, Mr Smith highlighted the urgent need for investment in renewable technologies, to help reduce the expense incurred by ‘off-grid’ homes who rely on heating oil to stay warm.

The energy crisis comes on top of a general cost of living crisis, soaring food and utility bills, sky-high rents and mortgages repayment rates, and a rapidly deteriorating economic outlook for the UK.

Alyn Smith, MP for Stirling said:

‘It’s an ongoing farce that rural properties reliant on heating oil have received so little state support amidst one of the worst energy and cost of living crises in living memory. We heard last year how £100 would buy less than 100 litres of oil, enough for just two to three weeks of heating. Prices continue to eat into household budgets, and yet the UK Government are dragging their heels when it comes to substantial support.

‘I strongly advocate for a twin short and long-term approach to tackling fuel poverty, rooted in grant support in the here and now, and strategic investment in insulation, high construction standards and renewable technologies to reduce our reliance on costly fossil fuels in future. People are freezing in their own homes, an absolute scandal in such an energy-rich nation as Scotland.’

Gene Maxwell, Stirling Councillor for Ward 1, Trossachs & Teith, said:

‘Stirling and Scotland are continuing to pay the price for failing Westminster control. The global energy shock has only been exacerbated by poor strategic management decisions over our energy markets, security and resilience by successive UK Governments. Scotland is an energy-rich nation, with huge existing and future renewable energy potential – and it is only with the full powers of independence that we can realise that greener future.’


Alyn Smith’s debate intervention can be viewed here.

UK Government press release on heating oil here.