Scotland publish long term energy strategy
As 2017 progressed it appeared that energy efficiency had become a race between the Scottish and UK governments as to who can promise most with regards to energy efficiency. It's an exciting time to work at Elmhurst, and an exciting time to be an energy assessor.
The most recent contribution was published by the Scottish Government on 20th December 2017 and titled "Scottish Energy Strategy: The future of energy in Scotland". It is both a response to Westminster's Clean Growth strategy and, where the power is devolved, an indication of where changes will happen to meet the different needs of Scotland.
Paul Wheelhouse Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy admits that "energy remains unaffordable for far too many in Scotland, creating hardship for individuals and families." and whilst there are other factors "building stock in parts of Scotland that is old and, all too often, profoundly wasteful in energy."
Six Energy Priorities
Built around the following six energy priorities, this Strategy will guide the decisions that the Scottish Government, working with partner organisations, needs to make over the coming decades:
It also makes a strong commitment to improving the Scottish Government’s approach to public awareness-raising and engagement on energy issues.
The 85-page document covers many aspects of energy production and use and, of course, buildings feature strongly. There is clear commitment to provide "warmer homes and better outcomes for our consumers".
The document claims the Scottish government will have spent £1 Billion on energy efficiency between 2009 and 2020, which is why 43% of Scottish homes are rated C or above- more than a third more homes than in England.
Energy efficiency has already been announced as an "Infrastructure Priority", the cornerstone of which is the 20 year plan defined in SEEP (Scotland's energy efficiency Programme) with the goal of making Scotland's buildings near zero carbon "wherever feasible" by 2050. Whilst the detail of SEEP will not be published until May 2018 the strategy document does allude to some of the objectives:
SEEP will also introduce the Warm Homes Bill which will define a new statutory fuel poverty target to assist those most in need of help to heat their homes.
SEEP will receive a minimum of £500 Million over the four years from 2017/18
Encouragingly the document also indicates that there will be a review of energy standards scheduled in 2018 and it claims that emissions from today's homes are 75% lower than those in 1990.
A Route Map for the Future
Elmhurst welcomes the issue of what the Government describe as "a route map, which sets out the first steps on a journey". Whilst it is easy to be cynical about strategy documents, our industry is in desperate need of a long term strategy which gives us time to plan, invest and deliver. This document, despite being long overdue, is very much welcomed and Elmhurst will continue to do all it can to assist with its implementation.
The full strategy document can be read here: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2017/12/5661