SFHA calls for investment in energy efficiency to create jobs and tackle fuel poverty

Sarah Boyack
Sarah Boyack

The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) has responded to two major energy consultations by calling for long-term investment in the energy efficiency of Scotland’s homes.

The energy consultations ask for views on the Scottish Government’s long-term plans for energy and for funding energy efficiency and renewables as the government develops a strategy to meet Scotland’s world leading climate change targets.

Sarah Boyack, SFHA head of public affairs, said: “We welcome the ambitious targets set out in the consultations which seek to have 50% of Scotland’s heat and energy produced from renewables by 2050. We believe, however, that home energy efficiency needs to be given a higher priority in the government’s plans in order to cut fuel bills and create jobs.”

Ms Boyack added: “The Climate Change Plan has an ambition that the vast majority of homes will be heated by low carbon technologies by 2032. While this is admirable, we believe that it has to be matched by an ambitious programme of investment in home energy efficiency to insulate consumers against the higher prices of renewable and low carbon heating.

“Fuel poverty levels are unacceptably high in Scotland at 31% of households, and while housing associations have the most energy efficient homes in Scotland, the fact that tenants tend to be on lower incomes mean that fuel poverty levels are 27%.”

The SFHA believes that housing associations are ideally placed to lead on programmes to increase home energy efficiency and develop community renewable energy schemes.

Ms Boyack said: “Housing associations have a strong track record of leadership and innovation in this area. They have invested significantly in the energy efficiency of their homes, developed community energy schemes and even set up their own not for profit energy company – all with the goal of providing affordable warmth to their tenants.

“Supporting housing associations to invest in the energy efficiency of their homes makes social and economic sense – research shows that investing in energy efficiency creates jobs and stimulates the economy as well as having health benefits.”

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