3. Home Energy Efficiency Programmes for Scotland
The outcome we want to see:
An end to fuel poverty, with lower fuel bills and increased comfort for all households, lower emissions and strong economic growth with Scotland the most attractive place in Great Britain for energy companies to invest in energy efficiency.
Around 85% of homes in Scotland today should still be in use when our final emission targets are to be met in 2050. That means we must focus on the existing housing stock in order to tackle fuel poverty and achieve the housing milestones needed to meet our emissions targets.
3.1 Consultation position
We called for a national programme which prioritises action to tackle fuel poverty, while maximising the measures and funding opportunities available to all, as part of a planned and co-ordinated approach, backed by standards, where necessary. We want to make Scotland the most attractive place in Great Britain for energy companies to invest to meet their obligations which opens up the prospect of a combined energy efficiency funding pot of at least £200m per annum, in addition to contributions from householders themselves.
The Home Energy Efficiency Programmes for Scotland ( HEEPS) scheme will assist in achieving the housing milestones for 2020 that are needed to enable us to achieve our emission targets as set out in our Report on Proposals and Policies. These are :
- Every home to have loft and cavity wall insulation, where this is cost-effective and technically feasible.
- Every home heated with gas central heating to have a highly efficient boiler with appropriate controls.
- At least 100,000 homes to have adopted some form of individual or community renewable heat technology for space and/or water heating.
We are making significant progress against each of these milestones which is shown in Annex A.
3.2 Consultation responses
Many representative bodies expressed strong support for the proposed energy efficiency and fuel poverty programme. Some saw additional funding as critical, given that the principal challenges are effective solutions for hard-to-treat homes. Longer-term funding would increase the take-up and effectiveness of programmes. Some respondents advocated whole house solutions as representing better value than piecemeal measures.
There was a clear view that a wealth of skills and experience have been built up over the course of previous initiatives and that these should support the strategy for existing homes. In particular, respondents recommended that the programme include both an area-based approach and a person-centred approach (focussing on the most vulnerable households), making use of the Home Energy Scotland advice centres to provide information and advice services.
- We have made available £79m of funding for 2013-14 to establish the Home Energy Efficiency Programmes for Scotland ( HEEPS). This will deliver on the Fuel Poverty Forum's recommendations for a shift of focus to Area Based Schemes to tackle fuel poverty but with a national Affordable Warmth Scheme and Energy Assistance Scheme to provide for the most vulnerable households wherever they live. Our spending, taken together with energy supplier funding which we aim to lever in under the Energy Company Obligation, should deliver £200 million expenditure in Scotland.
- The Affordable Warmth Scheme aims to ensure that every eligible household in Scotland receives support under the ECO Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation. We have extended stage 4 of the Energy Assistance Package for a further two years (renamed the Energy Assistance Scheme) focussing assistance on the most vulnerable and poor households which were previously eligible for heating and insulation measures but who would otherwise miss out under the Affordable Warmth Scheme. Taken together, both these national schemes ensure that more than 300,000 poorer households are eligible for free or heavily discounted insulation and heating from 1 April 2013.
- With regard to the Area Based Schemes, in March 2013 we invited councils, to submit proposals for Scottish Government funding and have informed councils of the decision on their proposals.
- We will continue to meet regularly with the obligated utility companies (both bilaterally and as a group) to discuss their experience of ECO and working with Scottish local authorities to deliver area-based energy efficiency schemes and seek to facilitate discussions between the companies and local authorities to ensure Scotland receives its fair share of ECO funding in 2013-14 and going forward.
- We will build on the success of the ECO workshops we have held to ensure that Local Authorities and Registered Social Landlords are fully aware of the opportunities available to them.
- The 2020 Built Environment subgroup has launched Retrofit Scotland, a collaboration of organisations that have come together to disseminate best practice information on retrofit in Scotland. Through the 2020 Group, Retrofit Scotland has collated more than 130 case studies on retrofit projects.
- We will build on the 3 year research programme undertaken and published by Historic Scotland on Fabric Upgrades for Energy Efficiency in Traditional Buildings 6 through supporting Historic Scotland's training programmes, delivered in partnership with Forth Valley College.
- We will support Historic Scotland through their work with BRE Scotland and Napier University to research Fabric Upgrades for Energy Efficiency in 1920 - 1945 Housing Stock. This will be published in 2015.
- We will support the extension of information and advice on housing options to help home owners find reliable trades people to undertake repairs and maintenance, including through the development of trusted traders schemes.
- We will make it easier and safer for older people to access any equity in their homes to meet their own housing needs and maintain independent living.
- We will continue to fund a number of schemes on Renewable
Energy, which will contribute to achieving our milestones,
- Warm Homes Fund - £50m fund. 8 projects approved to date, with grant funding of £175,000 and loan funding of £2m
- District Heating Loans Scheme - £5 million scheme. 13 projects supported in past 2 years at £2.6m total cost.
- Renewable Energy Investment Fund - £103m fund. Supports big investment projects under District Heating, Communities and Marine.
- Home Renewables Loans - helping individual households to install new green heating systems in their homes
- Renewable Heat Incentive - working with DECC to ensure that the Scottish Government's aim of Registered Social Landlords being included in the Incentive is achieved.