A lack of understanding and knowledge of green technology could delay a revolution in Scotland’s “green” homes, estimated to be worth £ 8 billion over 20 years to the country’s economy.
According to WWF Scotland, an infrastructure program to improve home insulation and build heat networks will generate at least 9,000 jobs nationally while keeping all homes safe, comfortable and energy efficient.
However, the environmental group argues that raising understanding of technology, programs and benefits, as well as clear guidelines from government, local authorities and companies, would ensure that the nation will now begin to build jobs and warmer homes. They claim that improving the way we heat our homes and buildings may be a cornerstone of an economic recovery that is equal and green after collapse.
The Green New Deal for homes, according to WWF, will include getting all homes to a minimum level of energy efficiency by 2030, constructing several new low-carbon heat networks over the next five years, and shifting hundreds of thousands of homes from fossil fuel heating to heat pumps by 2030.
A quarter of people in Scotland live in fuel poverty, said Fabrice Leveque, head of policy at WWF Scotland. And with more people working from home than ever, and many of us anticipating the high heating bills we face every winter, proper investment in energy conservation and better housing would help reduce energy bills, tackle poverty and cut pollution.
‘A sustained investment program in the energy efficiency of our homes would generate thousands of jobs, and five pounds would come back for every pound spent. It will also ready homes for heating systems such as heat networks and heat pumps that are low-carbon.
But while Scotland may be on the verge of a heating revolution, we could be held back by a lack of knowledge of technology and their economic benefits, the charity says.
Scotland already has some excellent examples of low-carbon heat schemes, from creative heat networks in Stirling to UK-leading insulation systems that make low-income homes more energy-efficient, healthier and warmer. With greater knowledge of technology, systems and benefits and clear government guidelines, local councils and companies will now get to work to build jobs and benefits.
“We are also calling on the government to set a clear target for the deployment of proven heat network technology in towns and cities across Scotland. This would give local manufacturers and installers the green light to get to work.”
In December 2020, the Scottish Government launched fresh cash-back rewards to help homeowners pay for upgrades to home energy quality and low-carbon heating solutions.
“A spokesman for the Scottish Government said, “To end Scotland’s contribution to climate change, the rate of decarbonization of Scotland’s residential and non-residential buildings needs to be dramatically increased, which is why we are taking bold, short-term action. As set out in our recently published revised Climate Change Strategy, reducing pollution from Scotland’s buildings would require modifying the climate change plan.
Over the next five years, our government initiative has committed to spending £ 1.6 billion to change the way we heat our homes and buildings to make them more energy efficient. This investment would fund up to 5,000 jobs directly and help counter fuel poverty as well.
We launched the Heat Networks (Scotland) Bill last year, which will regulate the sector for the first time, if approved by the Scottish Parliament, to protect and increase investment in this proven technology. We are also currently consulting on proposals to require all newly constructed homes from 2024 to be fitted with zero-emission heating systems.
A draft Heat in Buildings Strategy will be released shortly, providing more information on our plans and actions to further accelerate decarbonisation