Energy efficiency investment in Scottish homes must double

Investment for improving the energy efficiency of homes in Scotland must double in order to help meet the Scottish Government’s new zero carbon target by 2045, according to a new report.

The Existing Homes Alliance Scotland’s research highlights the need for immediate action on efficiency and heating in order to hit the pace and scale required to meet the Government’s new targets on fuel poverty and climate change, while also calling for the current annual budget of £119 million to be increased to at least £240 million.

Scotland’s commitment to accelerate the timetable for improving the energy performance for homes in its Programme for Government has been praised by the Alliance in its report, while also expressing “disappointment” that the details will not be published until December 2019.

Lori McElroy, chair of the Existing Homes Alliance Scotland states that the Scottish Government has acknowledged that there is a global climate emergency and knows that “continuing ‘business as usual’ is not up to the task.”

“Improving the energy efficiency of our homes is essential to meeting targets but will also transform people’s lives,” she said.

“Good quality, energy efficient homes are good for people’s health and well- being so in the long run they save money for the NHS. A ramp up in energy efficiency work will also create skilled jobs and support the economy across the whole country.”

 “With the Scottish Government’s commitment to net zero by 2045, and ambition to end fuel poverty, there is no time for delay. The proposals for creating highly energy efficient and low carbon homes are ready to go.

“Now the Scottish Government needs to boost investment in the next Scottish Budget to match the scale of ambition.  This will require a huge ramp-up in support for householders and landlords to help them improve the energy efficiency and heating of their homes.”

The Alliance’s paper aims to set out a credible pathway to making all homes in Scotland zero carbon by 2045.

As well as a more ambitious time-scale for action, the paper outlines how an increase in funding would be used to support households of all tenures to transition to new minimum energy efficiency standards, phase out fossil fuel heating in off-gas areas and support the expansion of low carbon, renewable heating systems.

Ashley Campbell, CIH and Existing Homes Alliance member, claims that without increased investment in energy efficiency, fuel poverty will persist, and the Government will have to continue spending vast sums treating the effects rather than tackling the causes.

“We can’t leave people languishing in cold, damp homes any longer. The forthcoming Scottish Budget and the revised Energy Efficient Scotland route map are opportunities to show the Government’s commitments are serious,” he said.

Polly Jones, Head of Membership and Policy at Scottish Federation of Housing Associations added: “We welcome the Scottish Government taking action to address our climate emergency however as set out in the report, the housing sector urgently requires a commitment to provide additional investment in order to deliver on targets around energy efficiency and fuel poverty.

“Registered social landlords are already delivering the most energy efficient homes in the country through their development activity.  However additional funding is essential to allow them to bring existing stock up to meet standards including EESSH2; especially if the programme is to be accelerated.”

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