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Nicola Sturgeon maps out £54.5 million route to ending fuel poverty

The Energy Efficient Scotland plans hope to crack down on heating or eating and emissions by 2040

Nicola Sturgeon has pledged to spend £54.5 million to tackle fuel poverty and slash greenhouse gas emissions in Scotland.

The First Minister announced the plans at the All Energy Conference in Glasgow on May 2 as she launched her ‘Route Map to an Energy Efficient Scotland”, outlining action to be taken to make the country greener by 2040.

To do that, Sturgeon is calling for all homes to be improved to meet an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of at least Band C in a bid to make homes warmer and more energy efficient.

The route map will require private landlords to achieve an EPC rating of Band E by April 2020 at change of tenancy before progressing to Band D by 2022 with all private rented properties needing to achieve Band E by March 2022 and Band D by March 2025 respectively.

Up to £49m of the funding will be allocated to provide energy efficient measures to Scottish households in line with the Energy Efficiency Programmes for Scotland: Area Based Schemes in 2018/19.

The further £5.5m will support local authorities with the Energy Efficient Scotland: Transition Programme to expand energy efficiency strategies and cover installation costs for social landlords. The Scottish government has also introduced a cashback incentive to the SME loan scheme, offering cashback on up to 30 per cent of energy efficiency works up to £10,000.

“The Scottish government’s energy efficiency programme will help ensure all our buildings are warmer, greener and more energy efficient,” said the First Minister.

“The major investment in this programme highlights our clear commitment to ensuring that we tackle fuel poverty and reduce greenhouse gas emissions – helping those on low incomes as well as protecting our environment.”

The move has been welcomed anti-fuel poverty charity Energy Action Scotland. Director Norman Kerr said: “We are pleased to see Scottish government set out its plans to eradicate fuel poverty while making Scotland’s homes more energy efficient.

“649,000 households in Scotland are currently living in fuel poverty which is an unacceptably high number of people making a daily choice between heating and eating. We have an opportunity to save lives, to improve lives for households, young and old alike and we must take it.

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