Campaigners have called for the Scottish Government to significantly increase funding for home energy efficiency measures after it admitted its target to end fuel poverty will not be met.

The Existing Homes Alliance has also urged ministers to set a target for home energy performance and press ahead with regulation of energy efficiency in the private sector.

Housing minister Kevin Stewart confirmed last month the Government's target to eradicate fuel poverty by November 2016 will not be met.

There were about 845,000 households in Scotland living in fuel poverty in 2014, defined by households which spend more than 10% of their income on fuel to maintain satisfactory heating.

Alan Ferguson, chair of the Existing Homes Alliance, said: "It is of course disappointing that Scotland will miss the target to eradicate fuel poverty, which the Government has now acknowledged.

"We now strongly encourage ministers to use the remaining three months to develop new plans that redouble efforts to tackle the scourge of fuel poverty."

The alliance - whose members include WWF Scotland, Scottish Federation of Housing Associations and Energy Action Scotland - wants the next budget to "significantly increase" public investment in home energy efficiency measures, so that fewer households waste cash heating leaky homes.

It has also called for the forthcoming programme for government to set an objective for a national infrastructure programme that supports every home to reach at least an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) band C by 2025, and for ministers to publish a delayed consultation on the regulation of energy efficiency in private sector.

Mr Ferguson added: "With the target countdown now on, we hope our proposed three-point plan is a constructive contribution that the Government can take forward.

"Investment in energy efficiency is a no-brainer, working alongside efforts to raise incomes and reduce energy costs."

Scottish Labour communities spokesman Alex Rowley said: "The programme for government must include a Warm Homes Act to deliver the changes we need to see in planning and building regulations to tackle fuel poverty."

Mr Stewart said: "We remain committed to eradicating fuel poverty in Scotland. That is why we have already designated home energy efficiency as a national infrastructure priority and are making available £103 million this year alone.

"This is on top of the more than half a billion pounds we've spent since 2009 improving the energy efficiency of Scotland's housing.

"As a consequence of this record investment, two-fifths of Scottish homes are now in the top three energy efficiency ratings - an increase of 71% since 2010.

"Despite our efforts, above-inflation energy price increases that are beyond our control have greatly impacted on Scottish households.

"We will now work with stakeholders to review the fuel poverty action plan, including our fuel poverty eradication target, taking into account the recommendations of expert groups that will report back this year - including the fuel poverty strategic working group, which includes members of the Existing Homes Alliance."