09 May 2023

CIH Scotland calls for more support to reach net-zero

The Scottish Government consultation on a draft Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan closed today (9 May). The document sets out a vision for transforming Scotland’s energy system on the journey to net-zero by 2045. This includes a commitment for one million homes to be decarbonised by 2030.

Responding to the consultation, CIH Scotland welcomed the Scottish Government’s continued commitment to a “just transition” to net-zero but highlighted the lack of detail on how transformative change in the housing sector will be achieved.

The Scottish Government’s Heat in Buildings Strategy estimates that decarbonising our homes and buildings will cost £33 billion but has only committed £1.8 billion to improving homes over the course of this parliament.

CIH Scotland has also called for clarity on the measures that private landlords and homeowners will need to carry out, supported by clear advice and information, and financial support for those who need it.

Ashley Campbell, policy and practice manager at CIH Scotland said:

“The housing sector has a significant role to play in meeting the Scottish Government’s ambitious targets around energy efficiency and decarbonisation. We want to ensure that everyone is living in a warm home and can afford to pay for their energy, regardless of their tenure. However, without dedicated support – advice, information and funding – there is a risk that the costs of reaching net-zero will be passed on to those who can least afford to pay for them.

“The social housing sector has taken the lead on energy efficiency but the vast majority of funding for the Scottish Housing Quality Standard (SHQS) and the Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing (EESSH) has come from landlords’ own funds. There is a risk that without additional funding for EESSH2, costs will be passed on to social housing tenants or that improvements simply cannot be made.

“Regulations in the PRS were delayed because of the pandemic and plans for regulating the owner occupied sector are still not clear. Private households make up about three quarters of the housing sector and we need to move quickly on regulations and support if people are to have enough time to consider options for improving their homes and budget for the work needed.

“We need the Scottish Government to show strong leadership and accountability across departments to ensure that the benefits of reaching net-zero are realised across Scotland.”