Orkney MSP Liam McArthur has called on Scottish Ministers to improve energy efficiency measures and set a more ambitious target for the eradication of fuel poverty.
Speaking in Holyrood last week [Wed 20 Dec] in response to a ministerial statement on the publication of the Scottish Government’s Energy Strategy, Mr McArthur asked the Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse “what assurances can the minister give that the upcoming warm homes bill will contain ambitious measures to improve energy efficiency?”
In response to Mr McArthur, Mr Wheelhouse confirmed “the Scottish Government has committed £0.5 billion over this session of Parliament to supporting the roll-out of Scotland’s energy efficiency programme.”
The Minister added that the Scottish Government are looking at some other projects, “including the low-carbon infrastructure transition programme and SEEP pilots in Mr McArthur’s constituency”.
Following the exchange, Mr McArthur said:
“Delivering the energy strategy will require an increased focus on energy efficiency. This is critical too, in helping address the chronic levels of fuel poverty, particularly in rural and island areas.
“The forthcoming Warm Homes Bill offers an ideal opportunity to set out a broad range of ambitious energy efficiency measures. Ministers must not be allowed to use the Bill simply to set a new fuel poverty definition and target.
“The Bill also needs to recognise there is a specific rural dimension to fuel poverty. A one-size-fits-all approach to tackling this scourge simply won’t be good enough. It is encouraging, therefore, to hear Paul Wheelhouse acknowledge this and express a willingness to look at trialling different approaches to energy efficiency in Orkney.”