Orkney's MSP, Liam McArthur, has raised questions in parliament about the circumstances surrounding the Scottish Government's decision to halt funding for oil or LPG boiler replacements.
Following the coalition deal reached between the SNP and Greens, the Scottish Government announced that as of 6 September 2021 no oil or LPG heating system replacements will be funded under the Warmer Homes Scotland scheme.
Mr McArthur has written to the Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport raising concerns about the sudden way in which the policy change was introduced and highlighted the impact on islanders looking to access the scheme.
Commenting, Mr McArthur said:
"Whatever the justification for this move, it appears to have been introduced with no prior notice or consultation. This has caused serious issues for those responsible for delivering the scheme but also, more importantly, those in receipt of support.
"I have been contacted by constituents left confused, having been told that the replacement boiler they were expecting is not now going to be delivered. I am also aware that those providing support to those in fuel poverty have been blind-sided by this decision.
"Of course, it is essential that we reduce carbon emissions from heating. However, this process needs to be managed sensibly, particularly in off-gas grid areas, like Orkney, where levels of fuel poverty are already high and many households still depend on oil and LPG heating.
“This sudden decision, as we head into winter and at a time of souring energy prices, seems at best ill-judged. It certainly doesn’t appear to have been taken with island interests in mind, a point I have made strongly in my letter to the Cabinet Secretary."