HOLYROOD NEWS: Government answers Fee’s energy efficiency questions

Holyrood logoThe following Scottish Government answers have been provided to recent parliamentary questions on energy efficiency by Labour MSP Mary Fee:

To ask the Scottish Government whether it plans to introduce minimum standards on energy performance for all private sector housing at point of (a) sale, (b) rental and (c) major refurbishment and whether government funding will be contingent on properties meeting such standards. (S4W-19177)

Margaret Burgess, Housing Minister, replied:

Scottish Ministers set out their position in March 2011 that they would not regulate for minimum standards of energy efficiency in private sector housing before 2015, and would look to regulate at the point of sale or rental.

As part of the implementation of the Sustainable Housing Strategy, published in June 2013, Scottish Ministers have set up a working group to develop proposals for draft regulations for public consultation which would set minimum standards for private sector housing. The working group, which includes representatives from consumer, environmental, local authority and private rented sector interests, will be considering issues such as the point at which standards would apply, and how any regulation would fit with incentives.

To ask the Scottish Government what fiscal measures it has in place to incentivise people to implement energy efficiency measures in their homes. (S4W-19178)

Margaret Burgess, Housing Minister, replied:

The Scottish Government provides a range of incentives to improve the energy efficiency of homes. In April 2013 we launched our Home Energy Efficiency Programmes for Scotland (HEEPS) which provides £74 million in 2013/14 to tackle fuel poverty, reduce carbon emissions and support jobs.

HEEPS supports the installation of energy efficiency measures in Scottish households and includes funding the Home Energy Scotland helpline which provides people with free impartial advice on the best steps they can take to improve the energy efficiency of their home and incentives available.

The Green Homes Cashback Scheme has also been running since 1 November 2012 and offers cashback vouchers to householders across all tenures of up to £1200 if they install an energy efficiency improvement that has been recommended on their Green Deal assessment. Since 2012 we have issued 17,449 individual cashback vouchers.

Section 65 of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 placed a duty on local authorities to introduce discount schemes for council tax, offering a minimum in-year reduction of £50 where householders undertake efficiency improvements to their home.

With the full powers of independence, this government would design a new means of funding and delivering energy efficiency improvements to Scottish homes that are fairer and better suited to our needs.

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