Funding to help reduce costs to consumers and help deliver Scotland’s low carbon targets is key in supplying heat efficiently, Energy Minister Fergus Ewing confirmed yesterday. An additional £4 million announced takes the funding for the next two years to £10.5 million which will support the development of district heating networks in Scotland.
Heat sources in use for various district heating systems can include: geothermal heat and solar heat.
This money will reduce pressure on household energy bills and maximising the economic opportunities to the industry through infrastructure developments.
Mr Ewing said:
“We are committed in helping support households across Scotland that are affected by increasing energy bills and this announcement moves that one step forward in driving down costs to consumers.
“Scotland is an energy rich nation where heat accounts for over half of all energy we use, with an estimated £2.6 billion a year being spent on heating and cooling in Scotland.
“We have set a target of 40,000 homes to be supplied with affordable warmth and low carbon heat through district heating by 2020. A heat system driven by the need for affordable warmth for our households and resilient heat supply, with a competitive business and industry base, which addresses climate change, and offers the potential for the low carbon economic opportunities supporting sustainable economic growth.”
Welcoming the announcement Mike Thornton, Chair, Expert Commission on District Heating and Head of Energy Saving Trust in Scotland said:
“The Expert Commission welcomes the publication of the HGPS, particularly the proposals for clear targets for district heating ; such targets will help drive the step- change in the use of district heating which is needed to cut fuel bills and carbon emissions.
“We look forward to continuing to work with the Scottish Government to support district heating in Scotland.”
Tim Rotheray, CHPA Director said:
“District heating is one of the most cost effective methods for tackling fuel poverty, making it an important tool to help the nearly one-third of Scottish households classed as ‘fuel-poor’.
“These ambitious targets will be vital for attracting the additional investment needed to benefit the thousands of families across Scotland that struggle to pay their heating bills.
“To make sure that this ambition is delivered, it is essential industry continues to take the lead in strengthening consumer confidence through strong standards and independent customer protection. We look forward to working with the Scottish Government to ensure industry can help deliver Scotland’s ambition for affordable, low carbon heat.”
Ian Marchant, Scotland’s 2020 Climate Group Chair said:
“Scotland’s 2020 Climate Group very much welcomes this consultation paper, as we strive to work in collaboration to achieve effective results by 2020 and indeed 2050.
“We consider the framework for investment a major step forward and it meets challenges head on, with solutions that will also deliver a commercial focus.
“The paper rightly recognises that these aims can only be achieved in association with a wide range of public, private and community stakeholders. The key to this is engaging hearts and certainly minds.
“This presents a great opportunity for low carbon heat in Scotland and we look forward to supporting as plans move forward.”