Over 95 per cent of government buildings fail green test

Fergus Ewing. Picture: Neil Hanna
Fergus Ewing. Picture: Neil Hanna
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THE SNP’s green energy stance has been labelled “embarrassing” after it emerged that less than 5 per cent of government buildings use specialist equipment to produce electricity and heat from renewable sources.

Under the internationally recognised Microgeneration Certification Scheme, buildings can be officially classed as ones that produce their electricity and heat from renewable sources.

However, ministers admitted just three Scottish Government buildings have micro-generation technology such as solar and water heating – representing 4.8 per cent of 63 properties solely or mainly occupied by it.

The SNP government has also been criticised after it emerged that some of its buildings had the lowest possible ratings in the Energy Performance Certificates that are needed whenever a new property is built.

Newly published Holyrood figures showed six buildings had the two worst possible ratings and none had achieved the top “A” energy performance rating.

Opposition parties claimed the results were at odds with the SNP’s flagship policy of heavily promoting sources of renewable energy, such as wind farms, to generate Scotland’s electricity .

Scottish Liberal Democrat spokesman Liam McArthur accused ministers of failing to provide leadership in promoting energy efficiency among households and businesses, and branded their policy embarrassing.

He said: “If we want to tackle climate change and be taken seriously as an advocate of renewable energy and energy efficiency then the Scottish Government must lead by example.”

Scotland’s environment minister Fergus Ewing – in a new written response to a question from Mr McArthur about how many Scottish Government buildings were carbon neutral – referred the MSP to a reply given a year ago.

Mr Ewing previously said ministers will “continue to keep under review opportunities for further use of micro-generation where environmental and cost benefits would result”.

Mr McArthur said: “It says much about the lack of progress over the last 12 months that the minister has been able to simply refer me to the same answers he gave this time last year.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “We have introduced a number of energy efficiency measures across our estate, including a £1 million investment in projects to improve lighting, building management and voltage optimisation to be completed by March 2013.”