The Scottish Conservatives have secured Parliamentary backing to bring forward energy efficiency targets by a decade.
Following the publication of the Energy Efficient Scotland Route Map, which details plans for making all buildings warmer and greener, the SNP Government moved that targets would be in place by 2040.
But Scottish Conservative energy spokesman Alexander Burnett won cross-party backing for this to be implemented by 2030.
The Aberdeenshire West MSP also won backing for all homes to reach the EPC “C” rating by that date, where feasible.
He told colleagues:
“The Scottish Conservatives have repeatedly called for the SNP’s energy efficiency target to be brought forward from the current date of 2040.
“We strongly believe we can achieve transformative change in energy efficiency across Scotland – with all properties achieving an EPC rating of ‘C’ or better by 2030…
“And the Existing Homes Alliance have noted that if the SNP brought all homes up to an EPC band C by 2025, research suggests that it would support 6,400 jobs throughout Scotland, creating a boost for the economy as it would raise GVA by 0.27% on an annual basis.”
Criticising the SNP’s stance on fuel poverty as weak, Mr Burnett said the public are confused by the “cluttered landscape” of Scottish Government-backed energy schemes.
“It is no surprise that incentives are difficult for constituents to be aware of when there are so many policy programmes tackling energy efficiency,” he added.
Notes for editors
WWF Scotland are to issue a response to the amended motion today.
Mr Burnett’s amendment was passed 64 votes to 60. His amendment (in red) to Housing Minister Kevin Stewart MSP's motion reads:
That the Parliament welcomes the publication of the Energy Efficient Scotland Route Map, considers that the target for all homes reaching EPC ‘C’ rating, where feasibly possible, should be no later than 2030, not 2040, given the urgency to reduce carbon emissions and to ensure that every home in Scotland is warm and properly insulated; believes that an earlier target will alleviate, more quickly, the problems arising from poorly insulated houses, which can all have a negative impact on people’s health and wellbeing; notes that a letter addressed to the Minister for Local Government and Housing, signed by opposition party members, called on the Scottish Government to adopt targets for 2030; welcomes Scotland’s ambitions to tackle climate change and fuel poverty as a huge opportunity to transform the energy efficiency of existing domestic and non-domestic buildings, drawing together action at a national and local level that is undertaken by individuals, businesses and the public and third sectors, and notes that this will build on the work of the Scottish Government, Scotland’s 32 local authorities and partners that have improved over one million homes and non-domestic properties since 2008.