Groups demand dual action to tackle fuel poverty and climate change
Scottish Ministers must invest to make Scottish homes more energy efficient during 2015 if targets to tackle climate change and eradicate fuel poverty are to be met, leading charities warned today.
WWF Scotland, Royal College of Nursing Scotland, and the Existing Homes Alliance have called for ministers to prioritise energy efficiency measures, saying it will help to eradicate fuel poverty and cut greenhouse gas emissions.
The call comes at the end of a year in which the Scottish House Conditions Survey 2013 revealed that 40% of Scottish households are facing fuel poverty – the highest level for a decade.
The Scottish Government is currently committed to eradicating fuel poverty by November 2016, and to reducing Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions by 42% by 2020.
As numbers using foodbanks continue to rise, we’re also hearing from those who can’t even cook what they receive from the foodbank because they can’t afford the electricity
Alan Ferguson, chair of The Existing Homes Alliance, a coalition of housing, energy saving and consumer advice organisations, said: “We’re seeing families across Scotland, not just those out of work but also working people, who have to choose between heating and eating. As numbers using foodbanks continue to rise, we’re also hearing from those who can’t even cook what they receive from the foodbank because they can’t afford the electricity. While these examples seem extreme, they are sadly increasingly common.
“While schemes like the Home Energy Efficiency Programme for Scotland are making progress, we agree that a more concerted effort, joined up across government departments, and with more funding, must be made if we’re serious about ending fuel poverty and bringing bills and emissions down.”
WWF Scotland’s head of policy, Dr Sam Gardner, added: “We know helping households become more energy efficient is a win-win, cutting carbon emissions and delivering cheaper fuel bills, alongside the clear benefits that come from ending fuel poverty in Scotland.
“The funding decisions taken in 2015 are crucial if we’re to deliver these benefits. That’s why we’re calling for investment levels in the forthcoming budget to ensure the social, environmental and economic benefits of energy efficient homes.”