Further Investment in Fuel Poverty and Energy Efficiency Measures Required says Scottish Federation of Housing Associations
Published by SFHA for Scottish Federation Of Housing Associations in Housing and also in Environment
Scotland’s leading organisation representing housing associations and co-operatives has called for the Scottish Government to invest more in fuel poverty and energy efficiency measures in order to help meet its climate change targets and support those in greatest need.
Responding to a Scottish Parliament enquiry into the Scottish Government’s progress towards meeting the carbon emission reduction targets set in the Climate Change Scotland Act (2009), the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) has said that while it welcomes the Scottish Government’s funding of the National Retrofit Programme (NRP), this funding needs to be substantially increased.
SFHA Policy Manager David Stewart said:
“While housing associations and co-operatives have amongst the most energy efficient homes in Scotland (1), our members house some of the poorest and most vulnerable in society. Their tenants are vulnerable to fuel poverty even when their homes are well insulated and energy efficient. It is therefore vital that housing associations continue to lead on energy efficiency and receive support from the Scottish Government to invest in their existing homes.
“We welcome the Scottish Government’s funding of the NRP as the SFHA believes that a programme which supports area based schemes is the best way to increase energy efficiency in Scotland and cut levels of fuel poverty. However, this funding needs to be substantially increased in order to meet the climate change targets.”
“The Scottish Government is also developing proposals to set further minimum energy efficiency standards for our members’ homes, and while we support any proposals to increase standards, we are concerned that there may not be sufficient funding to pay for the improvements. While minimum standards already exist in the social rented sector, there are currently no minimum energy efficiency standards in the private sector. The SFHA believes that a system of regulation, with minimum standards set for houses in all sectors, must go hand in hand with a well funded NRP if Scotland is to address fuel poverty.”
Mr Stewart continued:
“The SFHA is also calling for rural areas in Scotland to be supported in order to cut fuel poverty levels. Rural areas have higher proportions of hard to treat properties and much higher proportions of properties off the gas grid. At the same time they are more remote and have lower population densities, meaning that rural areas are less attractive to energy companies looking for investments to meet their carbon reductions obligations.
“The SFHA believes it is vital that the Scottish Government ensures that it provides support to rural communities and rural housing associations to enable them to increase the energy efficiency of their homes and develop small scale renewables. There are opportunities for the NRP, European Regional Development Fund, the Warm Homes Fund and the District Heating Loans Fund to make a positive difference in rural communities.
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1. Scottish House Conditions Survey: Key Findings 2011 http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2012/12/4995/downloads
2. The SFHA was established in 1976 and has around 119 members providing affordable housing and wider community services in Scotland, as well as a further 200 commercial members. The SFHA is owned by its membership and exists to support the work of housing associations and co-operatives in Scotland by providing services, advice and good practice guidance. www.sfha.co.uk
3. The SFHA is the voice of the principal builders and managers of new affordable housing for rent in Scotland. Housing Associations own and manage around 40% of the country’s affordable rented housing stock, over a quarter of a million homes across Scotland.
4. Housing associations and co-operatives are not-for-profit bodies regulated by the Scottish Housing Regulator.