Almost one million households in Scotland - including thousands of East Renfrewshire residents - could be suffering from fuel poverty.

The findings of the shock Scottish Government report have prompted calls for more help for people with their bills.

The Scottish House Conditions Survey published last week estimated that at least 920,000 homes are struggling to pay their gas or electricity bills with 720,000 in extreme fuel poverty.  

The survey questioned 90,164 households in Scotland, including 1843 in East Renfrewshire, to reach the figures.

People who need to spend more than 10 percent of household income on energy are classed as being in fuel poverty, with those spending 20 percent in extreme fuel poverty

Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP Liam McArthur said:"These figures show that a staggering number of people are estimated to be fuel poor

"Insulation and other energy efficiency measures are vital to bringing down bills and tackling the climate emergency, but ministers are content to work at snail’s pace.  

“We are calling for a national emergency insulation programme all across the country, with a particular focus on those homes which are hardest to heat. "

Charities like Advice Direct Scotland are receiving an average of 370 calls a day from people seeking help with energy bills compared to 80 a day a year ago

Their Chief executive Andrew Bartlett said: "As the country's national energy advice service, we have witnessed a sharp rise in the daily number of calls seeking support.

"We continue to encourage anyone who is finding it difficult to cope with their energy bills to contact our advisors, and it's important to recognise that many people are still struggling despite the warmer weather."

Citizens Advice Scotland Chief Executive Derek Mitchell said it was "facing record demand" for help with their bills.

It helped 174,500 people last year, and Mr Mitchell added:"Time and time again people are coming into Citizens Advice Bureaux with an energy issue and ultimately need a food bank referral or crisis support.

"There is a clear and direct line between high energy bills and empty kitchen cupboards.

"People, particularly the poorest, will be feeling the impact of this for years to come."

"Our capacity to help could be so much greater with better, longer term, more secure funding."

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We are continuing to do everything we can within our limited powers to support as many people as possible with their energy bills. This includes trebling our Fuel Insecurity Fund to £30 million this year to provide practical help to those who are most at-risk of self-rationing or self-disconnecting their energy use.

 “We again urge the UK Government to provide support for vulnerable households who continue to struggle with their energy costs, and to take the necessary steps – which only it can take - to ensure that households never experience this situation again."