The UK Government has held Holyrood back from introducing a national scheme to insulate older, colder homes and make them more fuel efficient, according to the Scottish housing minister.
Margaret Burgess blamed the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) for Holyrood's inability to turn a series of energy efficiency retrofit pilots into a national programme.
Last month she announced another pilot to spend £27 million to retrofit 2,200 homes, with an initial focus on areas with a large concentration of households in fuel poverty. A household that spends a disproportionate amount of money on heating and cooking is said to be in "fuel poverty".
Ms Burgess opened a Holyrood debate on the issue with a story about a constituent in her 70s living on £200 a week who spends 18% of her income on fuel and whose energy supplier has asked her for more money.
"That is simply not acceptable in 21st century Scotland," she said. "This to me starkly illustrates why this parliament needs the powers to tackle this disgrace, and it is a disgrace in an energy-rich nation such as ours."
She added: "As part of the national retrofit pilots, we announced last month £27 million to transform more than 2,200 older, colder properties across Scotland. The Scottish Government investment of £3.5 million will lever in a further £13 million from major utility companies, and the projects will also support an estimated 150 jobs across Scotland."
Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone said it is regrettable that the SNP is blaming the problem on Westminster.
"This must be particularly galling to hear for those who struggle to pay their bills when every major windfarm development that the Scottish Government falls over itself to support means that greater levels of subsidies are paid for by the very consumers who face the choice of whether to heat or eat," he said.
Stewart Stevenson, an SNP backbencher and former environment minister, said giving Holyrood control of all energy revenue, such as oil, would help. But Mr Johnstone said: "I hate to imagine what the tax-take would need to be to finance the independent Scotland that (he) seems so keen to create."
Liberal Democrat MSP Liam McArthur said he regrets the way the SNP has "framed" the debate. He said: "It is disingenuous for Margaret Burgess to try to characterise the situation as one where the Scottish Government is doing everything it can but is being thwarted by counterparts at Westminster. Such a distortion of the facts carries with it a number of risks." The SNP may start to believe "their own spin", he added.