Energy Bill Revolution alliance achieves campaign breakthrough
The Scottish Government has released a new package of measures to tackle climate change and it includes a pledge to make energy efficiency a national infrastructure priority.
The commitment means Scotland is the first nation in the world to make this breakthrough which has been championed by the 200 alliance members of the Energy Bill Revolution.
In a statement to the Scottish Parliament, climate change minister Aileen McLeod said that Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme will provide an offer of support to all buildings in Scotland – domestic and non-domestic – to help them achieve a good energy efficiency rating over the next 15-20 years.
The minister said: “Heating and cooling our homes and businesses costs £2.6 billion a year and accounts for approximately half of Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions. The Scottish Government has already increased investment in domestic energy efficiency – from £99 million last year to £119m this year. And since 2009 we have allocated over half a billion pounds on Fuel Poverty and Energy Efficiency programmes. But we must do more to meet Scotland’s world-leading and ambitious climate change targets. That is why I am today announcing that improving the energy efficiency of Scotland’s buildings will be designated a National Infrastructure priority.”
Welcoming the move, Alan Ferguson, chair of the Existing Homes Alliance Scotland, said: “This announcement should lead to the step-change in ambition and scale that is required if we want everyone to live in warm, affordable and low carbon homes. Making energy efficiency a National Infrastructure Priority should, in our view, mean that the Scottish Government is working to upgrade all homes to a C energy standard by 2025. No other infrastructure investment can achieve so much – tackling climate change while helping pensioners, young families, students, single parents to save money on fuel bills, improve their health, and lift people out of fuel poverty. It will also create and sustain jobs in every part of Scotland – up skilling the workforce to turn our leaky, cold homes into housing that is fit for the 21st century. This is the only way to permanently reduce energy bills – it is also the cheapest way to decarbonise energy generation. With this infrastructure priority and multi-year capital budgets, Scotland will enjoy supply-chain confidence and attract private investment for installations, research and innovation.”
Ed Matthew, Director of the Energy Bill Revolution said: “This is a historic announcement that offers the promise of long term ambitious investment to make all homes in Scotland highly energy efficient. We look forward to seeing an increase in energy efficiency investment set out in the Scottish Government’s infrastructure spending plans. The UK Government must now follow Scotland’s lead and put an end to the cold home crisis once and for all.”