As members of the public, we all work to reduce waste and change our habits to be more environmentally friendly. This includes recycling our rubbish, cycling or walking instead of driving, and using less plastic. However if we are looking to secure an energy efficient Scotland in the near future, we need to also think bigger – specifically, our homes.
Heating in the domestic housing sector accounts for 13% of Scotland’s carbon emissions. By 2045, Scotland aims to reach a net zero carbon target. This is going to be quite a challenge, as laid out in Citizen Advice Scotland’s latest briefing paper on “The Estimated Costs of Improving the Energy Efficiency of Scotland’s homes”.
Making Scotland’s homes energy efficient
The Scottish Government’s 20 year Energy Efficient Scotland (EES) programme is the key driver to bring about higher energy efficiency in Scotland. It aims to do this by 2040. One of the ways to measure it is by using an EPC rating. This stands for Energy Performance Certificate, and is a review of a property’s energy efficiency.
Houses can range from an EPC rating from A to G. Top of the scale is A, the most energy-efficient and with the cheapest bills to pay. Just under half of Scottish housing stock is rated EPC C or higher. The Scottish Government want all homes in Scotland to be EPC C or higher by 2040. However, there are an estimated 1.42 million properties in Scotland rated D or below – so this will be quite a challenge.
To do this, CAS has estimated that the total investment required to bring the energy performance of homes in Scotland up to at least EPC C in the 20 years to 2040 is in the region of £11.1 billion. The Scottish Government have estimated it would cost £8 billion.
Why should our homes be energy efficient?
In order to ensure Scotland becomes more energy efficient, MPs must understand that there is a public need and want for this. So why should you care how energy efficient your home is?
There are many benefits to be had by upgrading the energy efficiency of homes. These include preventing ill health and premature death from cold homes. This, in turn, leads to savings for health services, and also reduced energy bills for consumers. It also has an effect on helping to reduce global warming.
We all need to do our part to help create an energy efficient Scotland. If you would like to find out more about this report, then you can view it here. If you would like to find out more about the housing sector in Scotland, then read our blog on affordable housing here.