Housing alliance calls for energy efficiency budget to double to tackle fuel poverty and climate change

A report setting out a credible pathway to making all homes in Scotland zero carbon by 2045 has been published today by the Existing Homes Alliance Scotland.

Housing alliance calls for energy efficiency budget to double to tackle fuel poverty and climate change

It highlights the need for immediate action and a doubling of investment to improve the energy efficiency and heating of our homes at the pace and scale required to meet the Scottish Government’s new targets on fuel poverty and climate change.

The Alliance welcomed the commitment in the Programme for Government to accelerate the timetable for improving the energy performance for homes, though expressed disappointment that the details will not be published until December 2019.

As well as a more ambitious timetable for action, the report published by the Alliance called for a doubling in investment from the current budget of around £119 million per year to at least £240m per year.

The report outlines how this 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.  

Lori McElroy, chair of the Existing Homes Alliance Scotland, said: “The Scottish Government has acknowledged that there is a global climate emergency. We welcome the fuel poverty and climate change targets and we know 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.

“Good quality, energy-efficient homes are good for people’s health and wellbeing 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.”

Ashley Campbell, CIH and Existing Homes Alliance member, said: “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.”

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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