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Extra £9 million of funding to tackle fuel poverty and climate change


By Alan Hendry

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Energy secretary Michael Matheson says reducing emissions from heating homes is one of the most important things Scotland can do to achieve its net-zero ambitions.
Energy secretary Michael Matheson says reducing emissions from heating homes is one of the most important things Scotland can do to achieve its net-zero ambitions.

A programme to tackle fuel poverty and improve energy efficiency will receive an extra £9 million of funding this year to support a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and help fuel poor households save money on their heating bills.

The Scottish Government’s Area Based Scheme (ABS) programme will provide more than £64 million in 2021/22 – up from £55 million the year before – to enable every local authority to deliver energy efficiency measures to fuel-poor households and communities.

The work forms part of a £1.6 billion investment over the next five years to transform the heat and energy efficiency of buildings. The Scottish Government’s draft Heat in Buildings strategy sets out a vision for more than one million homes to be using low and zero-emissions heating systems by 2030.

ABS projects have helped bring energy efficiency improvements to more than 100,000 homes since the programme began in 2013. That is said to have generated cumulative savings for household fuel bills worth more than £900 million while reducing CO2 emissions by over 3.4 million tonnes.

There are plan to install low and zero-emissions heating systems in more than 500 homes this year, as well as insulation and other improvements such as solar panels and battery storage.

Scotland's energy secretary Michael Matheson said: “We are wholly committed to ending Scotland’s contribution to climate change and, crucially, doing so in a way that is fair for everyone and leaves no-one behind.

“Reducing emissions from heating our homes is one of the most important things we can do to ensure we become a net-zero society by 2045. It will require us all to take action and everyone across Scotland will need to play their part in making sure our homes and buildings are fit for a net-zero future.

Morag Watson, director of policy at Scottish Renewables.
Morag Watson, director of policy at Scottish Renewables.

“We are committed to rapidly scaling up action, but doing so in a way that ensures our fuel poverty objectives and our commitment to tackling climate change work together, ensuring a fair and just transition to net-zero.

“I am pleased to confirm increased funding for this year’s ABS programme, which continues to support on-the-ground delivery of projects making a tangible and positive difference – not just to greenhouse gas emissions, but to people’s lives.”

Morag Watson, director of policy at Scottish Renewables, said: “Heat makes up more than half of the energy used in Scotland. Focusing on its decarbonisation is crucial if we are to meet our climate change targets, which include the ambitious goal of producing 50 per cent of all energy from renewable sources by 2030.

“Using renewable technologies like heat pumps and solar panels to reduce fuel costs and cut carbon emissions is a win-win. In addition, the jobs which this latest funding will support enable businesses in the low-carbon heat supply chain to continue to upskill as we look towards net-zero and the end of gas for heating.”


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