It’s hugely concerning to read reports that only 0.04 per cent of Scottish households have made use of the Scottish Government’s green homes initiative (your report, 20 August). With the Green Deal due to come into force in early October, it doesn’t bode well for potential take-up of that scheme.
It’s particularly frustrating at a time when the construction sector is desperate for new work to maintain job and apprentice numbers. Sadly, the incentives offered by the green homes initiative appear insufficient to entice the vast majority of homeowners to take advantage.
If the Scottish and UK Governments are going to have any chance of meeting ambitious carbon reduction targets, more radical incentives will be needed to catch the average consumer’s attention. Cutting VAT on home repairs and improvements to 5 per cent would save consumers a further £15 on every £100 they spend on energy efficiency measures, for example.
Ultimately, with building use responsible for 40 per cent of all carbon emissions, we need to get serious about greening our built environment. Ministers should introduce a comprehensive retrofit programme to bring all buildings up to the modern standards needed to meet environmental targets while supporting jobs and skills in the building industry.
Scottish Building Federation
Tory MSP Gavin Brown blames the Scottish Government for the low take-up of its offer of £60 off council tax in return for “greening” homes.
In reality, the public has rejected it: we’ve been bombarded with publicity from councils and government, and I find it impossible to stem the flow of power company representatives trying to persuade me, despite telling them on both doorstep and telephone to cross me off their lists.
Why should we pay £500 to save electricity at a price massively inflated by the government’s “flagship” climate change scheme?
Few people can now be unaware of the massive subsidy – in the form of higher charges – involved in the wind turbine craze.
Who on earth is going to believe the claimed possible savings of £160 for cavity wall and £205 for loft insulation, with prices rising inexorably?
No doubt the claim will be that we’re saving even more because of higher prices.
No politician of any party will mention the fact that the reported 0.04 per cent of households taking up the offer is not far off Scotland’s minuscule global carbon emissions input.
Nor will any comment on the lack of other nations following our pioneering “lead” in renewable technology. Germany, a major manufacturing competitor, is now expanding coal mining, having abandoned nuclear energy.
Meanwhile, the US has the twin advantage of gas, which is cheaper and domestically sourced. Exactly whom are we leading?
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Weather for Edinburgh
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 3 C to 12 C
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Wind direction: North east
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