Scottish Parliament votes to bring forward energy efficiency target by a decade

The Scottish Parliament has given majority backing for proposals to bring forward energy efficiency targets by a decade.

Following the publication of the Energy Efficient Scotland Route Map earlier this month, which details plans for making all buildings warmer and greener, the Scottish Government moved that targets would be in place by 2040.

However, a cross-party consensus has been reached by the Scottish Conservatives to bring Scotland’s energy efficiency target forward by 10 years.

The party’s energy spokesman Alexander Burnett also won backing for all homes to reach the EPC ‘C’ rating by that date, where feasible.

The Aberdeenshire West MSP said: “The Scottish Conservatives have repeatedly called for the SNP’s energy efficiency target to be brought forward from the current date of 2040.

“We strongly believe we can achieve transformative change in energy efficiency across Scotland – with all properties achieving an EPC rating of ‘C’ or better by 2030.

“And the Existing Homes Alliance has noted that if the SNP brought all homes up to an EPC band C by 2025, research suggests that it would support 6,400 jobs throughout Scotland, creating a boost for the economy as it would raise GVA by 0.27% on an annual basis.”

Responding to the announcement, Sarah Beattie Smith, senior climate and energy policy officer at WWF Scotland, said: “It is very encouraging to see the Scottish Parliament vote for stronger and faster action to make Scotland’s buildings warmer and more energy efficient. By voting to bring forward the date by which all homes will reach a good standard of energy efficiency, MSPs have demonstrated welcome commitment to tackling climate change and fuel poverty with the urgency required.

“We hope that Scottish Ministers and opposition parties can now work together to enact the principles agreed today.”

Mr Burnett’s amendment (in italics) to housing minister Kevin Stewart MSP’s motion reads:

That the Parliament welcomes the publication of the Energy Efficient Scotland Route Map, considers that the target for all homes reaching EPC ‘C’ rating, where feasibly possible, should be no later than 2030, not 2040, given the urgency to reduce carbon emissions and to ensure that every home in Scotland is warm and properly insulated; believes that an earlier target will alleviate, more quickly, the problems arising from poorly insulated houses, which can all have a negative impact on people’s health and wellbeing; notes that a letter addressed to the Minister for Local Government and Housing, signed by opposition party members, called on the Scottish Government to adopt targets for 2030; welcomes Scotland’s ambitions to tackle climate change and fuel poverty as a huge opportunity to transform the energy efficiency of existing domestic and non-domestic buildings, drawing together action at a national and local level that is undertaken by individuals, businesses and the public and third sectors, and notes that this will build on the work of the Scottish Government, Scotland’s 32 local authorities and partners that have improved over one million homes and non-domestic properties since 2008.

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