Stakeholder feedback through draft Heat In Buildings Strategy written responses - summary
1. It was noted that island and other remote communities typically have high levels of fuel poverty. A high proportion of homes were reported to be detached and traditionally constructed. Many properties were suggested to be in a poor state of repair, to have minimal insulation, inefficient heating and poor energy efficiency ratings, to be off-gas grid and not likely to participate in heat networks.
2. It was also noted that some low and zero emission heat alternatives may only be suited to those homes that have already had fabric repairs and upgrades to insulation, and the importance of adopting a whole house approach to improved energy efficiency was highlighted.
3. Higher construction costs and limited supply chains in island and remote areas were reported to increase the cost of installing energy efficiency measures and higher costs for repairs and maintenance were also highlighted.
4. The importance of early engagement and of bottom-up engagement were highlighted - listening to rural and island communities and engaging in genuine partnership working. In contrast, some recent experience was felt to reflect a more directive, top-down approach. Some respondents expressed a feeling that geographically distant decision makers have poor understanding of local issues, or that island proofing may be ignored in a centralised policy delivery. Using local advice organisations for tailored engagement with their own communities was proposed. Also in relation to working with communities, continued availability of and work through CARES was requested.