Elmhurst respond to Scotland Consultation: “Scottish Energy Strategy: The future of energy in Scotland”
The Scottish Government are consulting on the future of energy in Scotland. This, as you would expect, is a high level consultation setting a vision for 2050. The Government have stated the objectives of the Consultation as:“The draft Energy Strategy sets out the Scottish Government’s vision for the future energy system in Scotland, for the period to 2050. It articulates the priorities for an integrated system-wide approach that considers both the use and the supply of energy for heat, power and transport”
The Government clarify this with:
“The choices we make about energy are among the most important decisions we face. The supply of safe, reliable energy underpins the continued growth of the Scottish economy and delivery of key services. Our energy industry provides high-quality jobs and a vibrant climate for innovation. Affordable energy provision is a prerequisite for healthy, fulfilling living and productive, competitive business. Scotland’s climate ambitions underpin the priorities laid out in this draft strategy consultation, determined by Scotland’s Climate Change Act.”
Elmhurst as the largest accreditation scheme of energy assessors in the UK; who’s members produce more Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) for domestic and non-domestic buildings in Scotland than anyone else. We are well placed to comment on the future strategy of energy efficiency in Scotland.
Elmhurst have worked with and continue to support the Scottish Government in their endeavour to make buildings in Scotland more energy efficient. Our responses are to build upon the knowledge and base position of Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) (the asset rating) and build upon this with occupant information to ensure that any measures taken are not only fit for the building but crucially that they are correct for the occupants. We know that EPCs exist and we want to ensure now that they are effectively used to drive efficiencies in homes and businesses throughout Scotland.
We wholeheartedly support the four priority areas identified in the Consultation;
Reducing the demand and increase energy efficiency through SEEP
Helping energy consumers to manage their bills, harnessing smart technology in the home and supporting new business models in the retail energy market
Supporting the introduction of viable, lower carbon alternatives across all modes of transport; and
Delivering enhanced competitiveness and improved energy efficiency in Scotland’s manufacturing and industrial sectors
These four areas of priority are the right areas to focus on. We support the fact that policy has to concentrate on the ‘demand-side’ through energy efficiency. In the rest of the UK, the sole effort appears to be on supply-side; we at Elmhurst have long campaigned that the ‘cheapest form of energy is that, which we do not use’, therefore we support anything that gets the nation more energy efficient.
We have over 1,600 professional energy assessor members in Scotland (over 8,000 in UK) who can be utilised to ensure that the EPC is acted upon and independent advice can be explained so that families and business owners can make informed choices which is specifically tailoured to their property.
We believe that by engaging local people and expertise, in the form of accredited Energy Assessors, into the energy debate, will we unlock the potential of energy and energy efficiency. Using local Energy professionals to begin the impartial journey towards making choices on their home or building, then the rewards will be greater. We understand that frameworks need to exist that the buildings subsequently have good quality energy efficient install; which can occur using existing quality assured schemes. But the fact that the advice in the first place is firstly independent and secondly is tailoured to the property and the occupant is the missing piece in the current system. We can help bridge this and enable the country to start to make good, smart decisions to reduce energy demand.
Elmhurst welcomes the consultation and we hope that our response starts a change towards strategically moving policy and action towards utilising the data that currently exists about homes and businesses and makes a clear path towards giving consumers independent advice, upon which to make the right choices. This will engage people with a process that at the moment is too confusing and not joined up enough. Through our comments, we hope to bring the energy efficiency community together, so that families and businesses can properly engage and ultimately start to make their buildings warmer and more efficient.
Scotland Consultation – the deadline is 30th May 2017
You can read the Scottish Consultation here
Full Elmhurst Response here