Housing Minister Margaret Burgess has outlined how the Scottish Government will ensure that homes in rural areas which are ‘off-grid’ will not be put at a disadvantage by proposed new minimum energy-efficiency standards for private sector houses.
In a written reply to Liam McArthur, LibDem MSP for Orkney, she said that the Govt.’s Scotland’s Sustainable Housing Strategy, published in June 2013, set out the commitment to consult on draft regulations on the energy efficiency of existing private sector homes.
She added: “This work is being taken forward with input from a steering group including representatives of fuel poverty and consumer interests. The consultation exercise will seek views from all parts of Scotland and Scottish Ministers will take account of the responses received in considering the final level of regulations for consideration by the Scottish Parliament.
“Proposals for draft regulations are planned to be published for public consultation in spring 2015. The consultation will set out proposals for the operation of the regulations. The final decision on the enforcement of regulations would take into account responses received through the public consultation process.
“Scottish Government funding for our Home Energy Efficiency Programme: Area Based Schemes (HEEPS) is distributed across all local authorities in Scotland and is allocated on the basis of need, taking into account levels of fuel poverty and the types of properties within areas.
“This ensures that funding is directed to those areas most in need of assistance, particularly in rural areas which are likely to have a higher proportion of homes in fuel poverty, particularly those where heating oil or electricity is their main source of heating. We allocated over £5 million more in HEEPS: ABS funding to rural authorities this year than in 2013-14.”