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Heat in buildings strategy must benefit consumers as well as the environment

Citizens Advice Scotland has today welcomed the publication of the Scottish Government’s draft Heat in Buildings Strategy

Heat demand currently accounts for 50.7% of Scotland’s total energy consumption and so the strategy, which sets out the Scottish Government’s plans for improving energy efficiency and decarbonising heat in all buildings in Scotland, will play an essential role in the transition to a net zero emissions society whilst also tackling fuel poverty.

Welcoming the Strategy, CAS Energy spokesperson Kate Morrison said,

“Decarbonising heat is perhaps the most significant infrastructure challenge Scotland will face over the next 25 years. Achieving this in a way that benefits consumers and reduces fuel poverty will be vital to a just transition. We’re therefore pleased that the Scottish Government has recognised the central role of individuals in the delivery of this Strategy. That the Government also outlines the need to link the decarbonisation of heat with efforts to reduce fuel poverty is particularly welcome. 

“Today’s strategy clarifies the standards the Government expects all buildings in Scotland to achieve. However, realising this ambition will be a big ask of many stakeholders, including landlords, home owners and local authorities. It will therefore be essential that sufficient resources are allocated to support partners to successfully deliver this Strategy. With this in mind, we hope to see an increase in public energy efficiency investment in the Budget that reflects the scale of the  commitments outlined in this Strategy. 

“CAS is a strong advocate of a ‘fabric first’ approach to the decarbonisation of heat. Failing to make buildings as energy efficient as possible before or alongside the installation of low carbon heating risks outcomes that do not benefit the occupier, and could exacerbate already worrying levels of fuel poverty in Scotland.

“It is vital that clear, timely guidance is issued to enable people to make informed decisions in line with the Strategy. This must be complimented by a robust consumer protection framework to protect the public as more and more becomes expected of them.

“There is a shared responsibility across the industry and its stakeholders to ensure that plans are implemented in line with the principles of ethical business practice, and we look forward to working in collaboration with partners in industry and Government to continue to make the case for this ambition.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors