HEATING costs for Scotland’s poorest are three times dearer than for better-off households, it is claimed.

In a new report, Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) says electric heating is “significantly more common in Scotland than elsewhere” in the UK, with 11% of people here reliant on it.

However, the agency’s new Hard Wired Problems report found electric heating is the most expensive form of domestic fuel and costs three times as much as gas.

And while almost one third of all Scots are said to be in fuel poverty, the level for electricity users is one half.

In comparison, two fifths of gas users are considered fuel-poor.

CAS says many of the worst-off are unlikely to either access available support or switch to cheaper fuel sources.

Craig Salter, energy spokesman for CAS, said: “Electric heating is by far the most costly heating type in Scotland, yet many of the people who use it are those least able to afford it. So they are paying over the odds to heat their home.

“People are in this situation for a variety of reasons. In some cases electricity is the only source available, as gas supply pipes don’t reach their home. In other cases they are renting their home so have to accept whatever system the landlord has installed.

“There are some excellent support services out there, but they are not reaching everyone who needs them.

“We need to make sure that electricity users know they can access specialist support that is tailored to their needs.”