Min­is­ter: Save en­ergy in the home... or else

The Sunday Post (Dundee) - - NEWS - By An­drew Picken APICKEN@SUNDAYPOST.COM

Home­own­ers could be le­gally re­quired to im­prove the en­ergy ef­fi­ciency of their house, SNP min­is­ters have re­vealed.

The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment has ad­mit­ted that it might need to force owner oc­cu­piers to in­stall mea­sures such as loft in­su­la­tion in a bid to cut cli­mate change lev­els.

How­ever, en­ergy min­is­ter Paul Wheel­house said that a plan to make all homes meet one of the top En­ergy Per­for­mance Cer­tifi­cate (EPC) rat­ings might re­quire leg­is­la­tion if not enough progress has been made by 2030.

Ex­perts say the move will cost bil­lions of pounds and it is not clear how the plan would be en­forced.

Speak­ing at a fringe meet­ing dur­ing the SNP con­fer­ence last week, Mr Wheel­house said: “2030 is a key mile­stone for the owner oc­cu­pier sec­tor, we’re try­ing to use vol­un­tary means at the mo­ment – by pro­vid­ing in­cen­tives, loan fund­ing and other meth­ods – to get owner oc­cu­piers to move to en­ergy per­for­mance cer­tifi­cate C by 2030.”

Any­one sell­ing their home re­quires an EPC mea­sure­ment of their prop­erty which is based on the let­ters A to G, with A be­ing the most ef­fi­cient prop­erty and G the least.

Pro­fes­sor Karen Turner, di­rec­tor of the Cen­tre for En­ergy Pol­icy at Strath­clyde Univer­sity’s In­ter­na­tional Pub­lic Pol­icy In­sti­tute, said: “It could be a dou­ble-edged sword. It is some­thing where we all know the ben­e­fits for our homes and the en­vi­ron­ment but there is still a bar­rier for many peo­ple in say­ing, well what dif­fer­ence will it re­ally make?”

David Weather­all, head of pol­icy at the En­ergy Sav­ing Trust, added: “The En­ergy Sav­ing Trust strongly wel­comes Scot­land’s planned tra­jec­tory for en­ergy ef­fi­ciency im­prove­ments to the homes, laid out in the Routemap for the En­ergy Ef­fi­cient Scot­land pro­gramme.”

Paul Wheel­house

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