Scottish homes see 58,000 energy-saving measures

More than 58,000 energy-saving measures were applied to Scots homes last year. Picture: TSPL
More than 58,000 energy-saving measures were applied to Scots homes last year. Picture: TSPL
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MORE than 58,000 measures to improve energy efficiency were installed in homes across Scotland last year, official figures show.

Statistics from the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change reveal a higher proportion of houses north of the border benefited from having improved insulation installed or new boilers fitted.

Power companies are required to install the measures to help tackle fuel poverty and reduce carbon emissions, with 58,058 delivered in Scotland as part of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO).

That means there were 24.5 such measures installed for every 1,000 homes in Scotland, more than the UK figure of 20.5.

The ECO scheme was supported by the Scottish Government’s Home Energy Efficiency Programmes for Scotland (HEEPS) initiative - which is providing £60 million of funding for 2014-15, targeted at households suffering from fuel poverty.

This will pay for further work to improve the energy efficiency of homes to be carried out.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Thousands of homes across Scotland have become warmer and cheaper to heat thanks to the Scottish Government’s support for delivery of energy efficiency schemes. This includes more than 12,000 measures in the Glasgow city area.

“Through HEEPS, local council-led, area-based schemes are being supported across the whole of Scotland which will enable local councils to leverage ECO investment.

“In total, the Scottish Government will spend almost a quarter of a billion pounds over a three-year period on fuel poverty and energy efficiency.”

But the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) has voiced concerns that the ECO scheme would be relaxed.

Policy manager David Stewart said: “The SFHA welcomes the positive news that so many energy efficiency measures have been installed in Scotland, funded by ECO and the Scottish Government Home Energy Scotland programme. While housing associations have the most energy efficient homes in Scotland, sharply rising energy prices mean that investment in energy efficiency measures is vital to keep homes warm and affordable.

“The SFHA is concerned that the proposals to cut ECO - which would see the UK Government relaxing the commitment that at present ensures companies deliver energy efficiency measures to domestic energy users - will stall the positive progress in investment. We already know of a number of schemes which have been scrapped as a result of the proposed changes.

“With energy prices forecast to rise for the foreseeable future, now is not the time to reduce funding for home energy efficiency. We therefore call on the UK Government to maintain ECO funding and the Scottish Government to use European Union funds to invest in energy efficiency.”

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