Supply chain firms call for certainty on green homes transition

Supply chain firms call for certainty on green homes transition

Jennifer Phin

Two years since the Scottish Government published its plans for cutting greenhouse gas emissions from Scotland’s homes, more than thirty supply chain organisations have written an open letter to First Minister Humza Yousaf, urging his government to publish a Heat in Buildings Bill to give certainty to businesses involved in the transition to energy efficient, net zero emissions homes.

With homes accounting for around a fifth of Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions and record high energy bills, homes across Scotland will need to be upgraded to tackle fuel poverty and meet climate change commitments. The Bill would set out clear standards and timescales for making Scotland’s homes more energy efficient and switching from fossil fuel heating.

The letter, signed by businesses involved in all parts of the supply chain, including manufacturers, installers, and advisers, says that there are huge opportunities for Scottish businesses, but the lack of certainty on regulations is holding up action on upgrading homes. Any further delay in passing the much-needed regulations into law risks Scotland missing out on thousands of jobs and a significant boost for the economy.

Jennifer Phin, managing director of Barrhead-based AC Whyte, which delivers energy efficiency upgrades to homes across Scotland, said: “Businesses across the country want to invest and scale up to meet this need, but we can’t do that without certainty. This Bill will help to give the supply chain a visible pipeline of work, giving confidence to investors. That would mean we could grow our business, create new jobs, and expand our flagship Skills Academy, which is already providing high quality training leading to full-time permanent jobs.”

Supply chain firms call for certainty on green homes transition

Signatories to the open letter

James Chaplen, head of product marketing and communications for residential products at Mitsubishi Electric, the largest manufacturer of residential heat pumps in the UK with its factory in Livingston, said: “Decarbonising homes is an essential part of meeting net zero. Tens of thousands of homes in Scotland already have a heat pump but this needs to grow, and leadership is a critical factor to make that happen.

“Government can reduce risk by giving clear guidance for business to support the switch to renewable home heating. This will encourage more rapid investment and innovation and show the dynamism that already exists in the industry – this will increase employment and help grow the green economy.”

Vattenfall is delivering heat to almost two million customers and is currently working with Midlothian Council to deliver low carbon heating to the new town of Shawfair.

Eoghan Maguire, director of heat networks - Scotland at Vattenfall Heat UK, said: “More than two million Scottish households heat their homes using gas boilers, which account for a significant proportion of Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions. We need to incentivise building owners to switch to lower-carbon alternatives, and setting out clear standards and regulations will help to do that. Scotland cannot afford to delay the rollout of low carbon heating, as it puts net zero by 2045 targets and the growth of the supply chain and skills base that we so desperately need, at risk.”

Lori McElroy, chair of the Existing Homes Alliance, which coordinated the open letter, added: “Businesses are ready and willing to help meet the climate challenge, but they are calling out for certainty. By publishing clear guidance through the Heat in Buildings Bill, the Scottish Government can unlock all that potential, enabling the creation of jobs right across Scotland and upgrading homes so they are warm and affordable to heat.”

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