The number of Scottish households in fuel poverty fell slightly between 2018 and 2019 – but the amount considered to be in extreme fuel poverty increased.
An annual survey of nearly 3,000 households found 24.6% were in fuel poverty in 2019, compared with 25% the previous year.
It found 12.4% of households were in extreme fuel poverty, where more than 20% of net income is spent on heating and the remaining money “is insufficient to maintain an acceptable standard of living”.
This represents 311,000 households in Scotland and is up from 11.3% in 2018.
More than half of those living in fuel poor households were living in private or social rented accommodation.
The Scottish House Condition Survey also found levels of disrepair in housing stock improved slightly from the previous year.
Housing minister Kevin Stewart said: “The Scottish Government remains committed to ending fuel poverty entirely and implementing our ambitious Fuel Poverty Act.
“Fuel poverty figures in the 2019 report are likely to have been influenced by an increase in fuel prices between 2018 and 2019, particularly for electricity.
“Indeed, these statistics have highlighted that cost of electricity per unit remains a significant issue in terms of tackling fuel poverty as a driver of fuel poverty.”
He added: “We are determined to address fuel poverty in Scotland but we also need to see action by the UK Government on energy prices as energy markets remain reserved.
“We know the Covid-19 pandemic will have exacerbated concerns over affording bills for many.
“Our £350 million package of communities funding, brought in during the pandemic, includes support for people struggling with energy costs, a significant increase to the Scottish Welfare Fund, which can help people on low incomes with essential costs such as heating, and increased housing support.”
Total grant funding to help fuel poor households had reached £97 million, he said.