Transforming Scotland’s Homes and Buildings
We want everyone in Scotland to have access to good quality, warm and affordable housing. This will help to create a fairer country for everyone, with health and wellbeing improved.
However, we know that some people can struggle with paying their fuel bills. Earlier this year, through the Fuel Poverty (Target, Definition and Strategy) (Scotland) Bill, we have proposed a new definition of fuel poverty, informed by the recommendations from an independent academic review panel and relevant stakeholder groups, which will ensure we target our support to those who need it most, no matter where in Scotland they live. We have also set an ambitious target that no more than 5% of households in Scotland should be living in fuel poverty in 2040.
Scotland is one of only a handful of European countries to define fuel poverty, and achieving the 2040 target will place Scotland amongst the very best in the world in terms of tackling fuel poverty. The target is ambitious but realistic and achievable, and forms part of a credible plan for delivery that can improve people’s lives, and support those who need it the most.
By 2021 we will have invested over £1 billion since 2009 on improving energy efficiency and tackling fuel poverty. Including offering a range of schemes to support people who have difficulty paying their fuel bills or keeping their home warm.
The Scottish Government’s Energy Efficient Scotland Programme will make a lasting difference to improving energy efficiency, tackling fuel poverty and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as we transform our homes and buildings to be warmer, greener and more energy efficient. This transformation will present both opportunities and challenges, so we are testing various approaches to drive further action on energy efficiency during the Programme’s Transition Phase.
As part of Climate Week, I am pleased to confirm the Scottish Government is awarding over £3.6 million of funding to support delivery of improved energy efficiency measures in over 1,800 homes across Scotland, including support for social landlords to decarbonise their heat supply.
In addition to today’s announcement I am delighted to add that Stirling Council has this week completed its 1000th install of external wall insulation, helping people make their homes warmer and improving health and wellbeing. This was achieved through funding from our Home Energy Efficiency Programmes Area Based Scheme (HEEPS:ABS), which has supported householders make their homes warmer and helped to reduce fuel poverty. The scheme supports all local authorities to design and deliver energy efficiency programmes and reduce energy bills in fuel poor areas. Since April 2013 we have invested almost £275 million through our HEEPS:ABS programme, supported over 80,000 households and helped to reduce fuel poverty.
Stirling’s Housing Portfolio, Cllr Evelyn Tweed added:
“I am delighted to mark the completion of the 1,000th private home in the Stirling Council area to benefit from free external wall insulation thanks to the funding from the Scottish Government’s Home Energy Efficiency Programme. Both Stirling Council and the Scottish Government are committed to improving the energy efficiency of all housing stock across all housing tenure and further reduce levels of fuel poverty and reducing carbon emissions. With the financial support of over £9m to Stirling Council from the Scottish Government over the past six years, we have been able to transform 1,000 private properties that would otherwise be cold and expensive to heat.”