Citizens Advice Scotland calls on Scottish Government to double Energy Efficient Scotland scheme budget to £256m a year
The Scottish Government is being asked to double its budget to help make homes more energy efficient.
Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) wants to see carbon emissions from Scottish homes cut, saying it would be a vital step towards meeting climate change targets of net-zero emissions by 2045.
The consumer charity says 13 per cent of Scotland’s carbon emissions come from people’s homes.
The Scottish Government aims to reduce that figure by raising the energy performance of all homes in Scotland to at least a C rating – with all social housing at B rating or above – 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 20 years, or around £555 million per year.
Dr Jamie Stewart, CAS markets spokesperson, 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 doesn’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.”
The charity is now calling on the Scottish Government to increase its budget for its energy efficiency programme to at least £256 million per year, a doubling of its current £119 million a year budget.
CAS says that still would only amount to 0.3 per cent of Scottish public sector expenditure.
Mr Stewart added: “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 20 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.”