As Scotland shivers, is Holyrood backsliding on warm homes?

Warm homes crop

​Charity alliance says there has been a "massive roll back" in Scottish Government's warm homes committment

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6th March 2018 by Graham Martin 1 Comment

The Scottish Government has been warned not to backslide on plans to make the country’s homes warm and energy efficient.

A charity coalition says the SNP administration’s latest Climate Change Plan has significantly weakened targets on warm houses.

The government’s draft plan, published last year, proposed cutting carbon emissions from homes by 75% by 2032.

The final plan, published this week, has reduced that target to just 23%.

It also fails to provide a credible pathway to delivering low carbon heat for homes, particularly in the short term, says the Existing Homes Alliance, a coalition which includes the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, Citizens Advice Scotland and WWF Scotland.

The alliance says there has been a “massive roll back” on ambition for heating homes from low carbon sources, such as heat pumps and district heating schemes. The original target of having 80% of homes having low carbon heat by 2032 has fallen to just 35% by 2032, and only “wherever feasible”.

Lori McElroy, chair of the Existing Homes Alliance, said: "As Scotland shivers in the snow and freezing temperatures, we should all remember that around a quarter of the country's households are living in fuel poverty – that's nearly 649,000 homes spending 10% or more of their income on heating. So, it is extremely disappointing that the Scottish Government appears to be weakening its ambition on warm homes.

"The Climate Change Plan was an opportunity to set a blueprint for a better Scotland, where no-one suffers from the effects of a cold and draughty home, where the nation is insulated from an over reliance on gas, and where we could out cut our carbon emissions for the benefit of everyone in Scotland and around the world."

In the winter of 2016/17, an additional 2,720 people died during the winter months, when compared to the average for the rest of the year. The World Health Organisation has in the past estimated that 30% of such deaths are attributable to cold homes.

Alliance research shows that bringing all homes up to a good standard of energy efficiency by 2025 could save the NHS in Scotland up to £80m a year by reducing the incidence of cold-related illnesses.”

It says the government’s forthcoming warm homes bill will be an important test.

McElroy said: “The bill is a unique opportunity to make our homes fit for the future. It must set out how action on the new fuel poverty target will be monitored and reported on, but it must also set new ambitions to improve the energy efficiency of Scotland’s homes.”

Kevin Stewart, local government and housing minister, responded: “By the end of 2021 we will have allocated over £1 billion since 2009 to tackle fuel poverty and improving energy efficiency. 

 “We have reviewed emissions reduction targets between now and 2032 for homes based on sound advice from stakeholders, including our independent advisor and the Committee on Climate Change, and we have set out a credible plan which individuals, businesses and communities around Scotland can unite behind."

6th March 2018 by Scottish Scientist

So-called "Carbon Capture and Storage" (or CCS-L, for "CCS-LEAK" as it should be called) is a fossil fuel industry scam that cannot reliably store carbon dioxide gas without it leaking sooner or later.So any "climate change plan" for which CCS-L is "vital" for it to work is doomed as the Scottish government freely admits its plan is.QUOTE - "The Scottish Government is continuing to support the development of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) as a vital technology to meet our long-term emissions reductions targets." - END QUOTE.So because CCS-L doesn't work, won't ever work then we can easily deduce that the Scottish government WILL NOT EVER "meet their long-term emissions reductions targets", not with that CCS-L dependent plan that they just published.Any CCS-L dependent climate change plan is a house of cards.Luckily, if Scotland wants and needs a credible climate change plan then here is mine.Scotland Electricity Generation – my plan for 2020 https://scottishscientist.wordpress.com/2015/03/08/scotland-electricity-generation-my-plan-for-2020/