This government wants all our homes and buildings to be warmer, greener and more efficient and for people to reap the economic and health benefits that will bring.
Every year, households, businesses and public services in Scotland spend around £2.5 billion on heating and cooling their properties, yet, many of our buildings are inefficient and for many people, energy remains unaffordable. Energy Efficient Scotland brings together all of the Scottish Government’s work to improve the energy efficiency of our buildings under one long-term programme to transform Scotland’s buildings by 2040 in support of Scotland’s Climate Change Plan and our Energy Strategy. 
The latest figures tell us that 649,000 Scottish households were in fuel poverty in 2016. We know that living in draughty, inefficient housing, or having unaffordably high fuel bills, can impact on health, wellbeing and quality of life. To achieve our ambition of a greener, fairer Scotland where people can flourish and prosper, and tackle fuel poverty for those households, we therefore are committing to a long-term programme of investment and improvement in energy efficiency.
Globally, we are faced with the challenge of mitigating climate change. Our latest statistics show that buildings account for 19.7% of total greenhouse gas emissions. So, improving the energy efficiency of our homes and businesses will reduce energy demand and alongside efforts to promote the use of low carbon and renewable heat can help us to achieve Scotland’s ambitious climate change targets.
Given the scale of our ambition to eradicate fuel poverty, mitigate climate change, and grow the Scottish economy in an inclusive way, energy efficiency was designated as a National Infrastructure Priority by Scottish Ministers. We did this because it has many benefits – benefits for people, businesses and society as a whole. It puts money in people’s pockets, delivers savings to the public sector to reinvest in frontline services, and improves the competitiveness of our businesses. Investing in energy efficiency will also boost economic growth, with research showing a 10% improvement in the energy efficiency of all UK households will sustain GDP expansion of around 0.16%.
Investing to bring Scotland’s buildings up to standard will help to support jobs across the Scottish economy. We know that for every £100 million spent on energy efficiency improvement approximately 1,200 full-time jobs are supported. Over the lifetime of the Programme we estimate that total investment, whether from public or private sources, will be in the region of £10-12 billion. The Scottish Government is already on track to meet our Programme for Government commitment to make more than £500 million available to support the Programme over the four years to 2020-21.
From the outset, we have sought to work with our delivery partners, stakeholders and other experts to design the Programme. This consultation and the associated Route Map have been informed by extensive consultation and discussions over the past two years. One of the key things we heard was that it is important to set out the end goal and key milestones upfront to provide certainty for property owners and investors.
This consultation outlines our proposals for a long-term standard for Scotland’s homes and the proposed phasing of standards in privately rented and owner occupied homes. It seeks your views on our future approach to setting long-term improvement targets for non-domestic buildings, which will help inform research later in 2018 and a more detailed consultation during 2019. We also ask what legislation may be needed to support the Programme more widely.
It is important that we continue this discussion so that we can create a long term, credible and robust programme that is capable of helping people across Scotland to improve the energy efficiency of their properties and, in doing so, tackle fuel poverty, mitigate climate change and help grow the Scottish economy.
We encourage you to respond to this consultation and look forward to hearing your views.
Kevin Stewart MSP
Minister for Housing and Local Government
Paul Wheelhouse MSP
Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy