Matilda’s Planet comment on Scottish Government fuel poverty
With the Scottish Government announcing that it will not meet its fuel poverty target, there have been a number of recommendations for a different approach to be taken when tackling this issue.
Sean McLaughlin, managing director of Matilda’s Planet, said: “The admission that the Scottish Government is not going to meet its target of eradicating fuel poverty as far as is reasonably practicable this year, is an obvious but important step – the most recent figures available showed that more than a third of Scottish households were still in fuel poverty in 2014.
“We have said previously that Scotland now needs a comprehensive and realistic new strategy to improve domestic energy efficiency in order to eliminate fuel poverty and eradicate its scourge of cold homes.
“Now policymakers can go back to the drawing board and we’d urge them to come back with solid deliverable plans not more grand aspirations without a strategy to deliver them. We are disappointed by the suggestion that this may include changing the definition of fuel poverty to make the target easier to hit.
“The SNP’s pledge to introduce a Warm Homes Bill to tackle fuel poverty and increase energy efficiency should be the springboard which enables real progress to be made.
“This rethink should involve consultation with businesses working in the industry and those in fuel poverty to find the best way forward.
“In April the Existing Homes Alliance compiled some excellent data which revealed there are an estimated 1.5m ‘cold homes’ in Scotland – homes with Energy Performance Certificates ranging between D to F ratings.
“This proved beyond doubt that Scotland has an industrial sized problem with cold homes and it needs a manufacturing solution in order to tackle it more quickly.
“With cold, energy-inefficient homes a problem the length and breadth of Scotland retrofit should be considered as much of a national infrastructure priority as the new Borders railway or the Queensferry Crossing.”