Existing Homes Alliance Scotland calls for energy efficiency to be at the heart of recovery with 2021 election manifesto

Existing Homes Alliance Scotland calls for energy efficiency to be at the heart of recovery with 2021 election manifesto

The next Scottish Government should invest at least £1.3 billion over the next Parliament in making Scotland’s homes highly energy-efficient and zero carbon emissions from heat, according to the Existing Homes Alliance Scotland.

Launching its Manifesto for the 2021 Scottish Parliamentary elections, the Existing Homes Alliance Scotland, also called for a new Energy Efficient Scotland Bill and Zero Carbon Homes Strategy, that would see the vast majority of homes, across all tenures, meeting at least EPC C by 2030 and zero carbon emissions by 2040.

Lori McElroy, chair of the Existing Homes Alliance, said: “We are facing unprecedented challenges, but we also have the opportunity to transform our strategies and investment plans.

“With one year to go until the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), Scotland should be ready to showcase practical, innovative policies that could improve people’s health and wellbeing, reduce poverty and help to tackle the climate emergency, while at the same time creating thousands of skilled jobs across the country.

“To meet our fuel poverty and net zero targets and deliver a green recovery, we need legislation that gives clarity and confidence, targeted investment for a just transition and a programme of innovation to deliver green jobs.”

The manifesto sets out policies under these three themes and calls for:

A legislative framework that gives clarity and confidence

  • An Energy Efficient Scotland Bill including provisions for mandatory standards and a statutory zero carbon homes strategy which will provide the certainty needed to attract private investment, support Scotland’s homeowners, landlords and supply chains, whilst ensuring fairness and quality.

Targeted funding for a just transition

  • Expanded and accelerated Warmer Homes Scotland and Area Based Schemes which ensure the costs of energy efficiency and heat work are fully met for people in fuel poverty.
  • An expanded Home Energy Scotland advice service, combined energy and heat fund and expanded programme of incentives to support home-owners and private landlords to meet EPC C by 2030 and zero emissions from heat by 2040.
  • A Rural Homes Just Transition Package of engagement to help early adoption in off-gas areas.

Supporting a green recovery through innovation

  • New programmes to meet the challenges of delivering on average 80,000 homes a year for the next 10 years, including not for profit delivery vehicles to deliver retrofit and generate affordable energy for people at risk of fuel poverty and a large scale zero carbon retrofit exemplar programme to pioneer innovation and demonstrate how retrofit can be applied in different house types.
  • Training / reskilling a growing workforce, with the creation of an estimated 17,000 skilled jobs in retrofit and renewable heat across Scotland.

Lori McElroy added: “Progress on reducing emissions from homes is stalling – transformational change is necessary to deliver warm, zero carbon emissions homes in the next decade.

“COVID-19 has highlighted the urgent need for action – Scottish Government research has identified that there is a real danger that, as more people work from home and with increased unemployment, an additional 136,000 (5%) of Scotland’s households are at risk of being pushed into fuel poverty (in addition to the 619,000 (25%) currently estimated to be in fuel poverty in 2018).

“Energy efficiency must be at the heart of our recovery – by scaling up investment in energy efficiency and low carbon heat we can build a fairer Scotland, create sustainable jobs and provide immediate economic benefits right across the country.”

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