Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) is today calling for an increase in funding to help make Scottish homes more energy efficient.
The consumer charity said the move would be a vital step towards meeting the Scottish Government’s climate change targets of net zero emissions by 2045.
Currently 13 per cent of Scotland’s carbon emissions come from people’s homes. To reduce that the Scottish Government’s target is to raise the energy performance of all homes in Scotland to at least a C rating (B rating for all social housing) by 2040.
New research by CAS estimates that the combined total investment required by the Scottish Government, homeowners and private landlords is likely to be at least £11 billion over the next twenty years, or £555 million per year.
The charity believes the Scottish Government’s contribution towards this cost should be at least £256 million per year, a doubling of its current £119 million a year budget while still only amounting to 0.3 per cent of Scottish public sector expenditure.
Markets spokesperson, Dr Jamie Stewart, said:
“The Citizens Advice network in Scotland helps hundreds of thousands of people each year. We support bold targets on climate change but we want to ensure the cost of meeting those targets don’t fall on those least able to pay.
“That’s why increasing the funding for energy efficiency will help make Scotland’s homes easier to heat and reduce emissions at the same time – it’s win- win.
“We welcome the Scottish Government’s Energy Efficient Scotland programme as it offers a long-term commitment to address a systemic problem over the next twenty years.
“But despite energy efficiency being designated as a National Infrastructure Priority four years ago, the amount of central funding available has remained the same.
“Improving energy efficiency of our homes is key to Scotland becoming ‘net zero’, but it is vital that the public and specifically those who are fuel poor aren’t hit the hardest by the drives to meet climate targets.
“Doubling the budget for Energy Efficient Scotland will not only make increased financial support available for those who need it, but should be used to raise awareness of schemes and incentives.
“It should also be used to jump-start the momentum within the social and private rented sectors and strengthen consumer protection and enforcement of traders installing energy efficiency measures.”
CAS's briefing and recommendations can be found here.
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rates a property based on its energy efficiency from A (the most efficient) to G (least efficient). Currently just half of Scottish housing stock is rated C or higher and there are estimated to be 1.42 million properties rated D or below.
Citizens Advice Scotland’s analysis is based on figures from the Scottish House Condition Survey (2017) and the cost of upgrading the energy (SAP) rating of dwellings based on average costs from the Warmer Homes Scotland evaluation report (2017).