The Consumer Futures Unit of Citizens Advice Scotland has today welcomed the Scottish Government’s new draft Energy Strategy, with its proposals for achieving affordable warmth and improving energy efficiency, and said it is essential that the needs of consumers are at the heart of new proposals.
Craig Salter, the Consumer Futures Unit’s energy spokesperson, said:
“We welcome the Scottish Government’s draft Energy Strategy , which sets out positive steps towards eradicating fuel poverty and developing a low carbon energy system that is both affordable and fair. Previous approaches have been successful in decarbonising electricity generation. However, to achieve further carbon emissions reduction, renewable heat generation and energy efficiency are critical.
“Changing consumers’ behaviour is vital to increase the take-up of energy efficiency schemes and encourage a move towards renewable heat.
“It is good to see more detailed options for the design of Scotland’s new Energy Efficiency Programme (SEEP) from 2018. The Consumer Futures Unit is leading innovative deliberative research to find the right balance between regulation, and financial incentives and funding, to persuade consumers to adopt energy efficiency measures. SEEP should also learn from previous experience to deliver the highest standards of consumer advice, protection and redress.
“The strategy contains ambitious proposals, such as those around insulation, which are welcome. However, the Scottish Government should provide details of its approaches and sufficient resource to meet those ambitions.
“The heat market is currently unregulated. Users of renewable heat need support and protection against unfair practices, so we welcome the Scottish Government’s intention to consult on the regulation of district heating as a means of achieving this.
“To ensure that the energy strategy is successful in its dual aims of tackling fuel poverty and decarbonising energy, the needs of consumers must be at the heart of these proposals.”