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Scotland cracks on in tackling home energy

Over 58,000 homes in Scotland upgraded their boiler or got insulated under the ECO scheme last year – a higher rate per 1,000 homes than England. While this will no doubt cheer green Scottish nationalists, a caveat is that ECO got a little help from the Scottish Government’s own fuel poverty programme.

For those that have got their lagging sorted out, it might be time to consider generating energy at home – and Scotland has a helping hand there too. A further £4million has been added to the funding pot for the renewables loan scheme - a programme run by our Scottish office. Not only can you get up to £10,000, interest free for anything from a heat pump to solar PV, but the funds also support those who want to connect their home to a district heat scheme from a renewable source.

Back to air tightness and warmth in the home, and the new energy efficiency standards for social housing have just been launched in Scotland – alongside an acknowledgement that over 80 per cent of social landlords in the country are already complying with existing targets. Keith Anderson from Port of Leith Housing Association, writing in The Scotsman, says the new standards will keep the pressure on for constant improvement, but raised a note of caution about the private rented sector:

In Scotland, serious challenges exist in terms of ensuring that our privately owned stock of housing meets a similar standard for energy efficiency and quality to our social housing stock. Unless similar standards are introduced for private housing, it is unlikely that Scotland will be able to meet its carbon reduction goals.”

This is certainly a sentiment echoed south of the border. A coalition of organisations including WWF UK and Shelter has recently applied pressure for the instigation of a minimum, enforceable, energy efficiency standard for private landlords.

For more about the incentives for private landlords to improve the EPC ratings of their homes, see our blog about legislation and funding support

Gary Hartley is Energy Saving Trust's expert blogger. He has extensive experience researching and writing on a number of topics, with particular expertise in sustainable energy, policy, literature and sport. As well as providing regular blog content, Gary has also been published in numerous magazines and journals.

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