New research highlights increasing affordability of improving Scotland’s coldest homes

Patrick Harvie
Patrick Harvie

Basic improvements to Scotland’s draughtiest private homes can be made for as little as £1,000 per property, new figures have revealed.

Researchers looking at regulation of energy efficiency of private sector housing (REEPS) costed various scenarios, one of which shows that making minimum improvements to the draughtiest 400,000 private homes in Scotland would cost £388 million, an average investment of less than £1,000 per home.

According to the report, the benefit for householders would be annual fuel bill savings of over £111m, and the benefit to Scotland’s climate change targets would be annual savings of over 600,000 tonnes of carbon emissions.

Scottish Green MSP Patrick Harvie, who is a member of Holyrood’s economy and energy committee, said the new research shows the affordability of improving the energy efficiency of Scotland’s housing stock.

He said: “With one year to go to the Scottish Government’s target of eradicating fuel poverty, this new research makes clear the multiple benefits of insulating Scotland’s draughtiest homes. An investment of less than £1,000 for each home in the lowest categories would be more than paid back by helping reduce the impact on the NHS and the education system from children and adults living in fuel poverty, and would create thousands of construction jobs to boost local economies.

“We know that if the Scottish Government keeps spending on energy efficiency at its current rate, it will take 28 years to help all of the 940,000 homes in fuel poverty. This issue has been a consistent priority from the Green MSPs, and today’s research shows the way forward for ministers if they are serious about tackling the scandal of Scotland’s cold homes.”

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