Barriers to Scottish energy efficiency revealed

energy efficiency dial in house
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Affordability and low awareness of government schemes are key barriers to Scotland achieving its goals to improve the energy efficiency of homes and reach net zero, according to a survey from the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB).

Survey participants were asked what, if anything, prevents them from making energy improvements and what would incentivise them to do so. Affordability was cited by around 40% of people as a barrier, while the disruption of having work done (20%), not owning the home (23%), and a lack of understanding of how to improve energy efficiency (19%) were also among the top reasons.
Reducing energy bills (62%), government grants (42%), free and reliable guidance (27%), and improving a home’s energy rating (24%) were the most popular incentives identified by those who completed the survey.
The survey also asked respondents about past and current government incentive schemes, including Warmer Homes Scotland, Home Energy Scotland Grant and Home Energy Efficiency Programmes for Scotland (HEEPS) Equity Loans – over a third (39%) of respondents had not heard of any of the schemes, with awareness being lowest in the over 55 age category.CIOB says its findings show there is a clear leadership role for the Scottish Government in driving energy efficiency upgrades if Scotland is to meet its carbon emissions targets

Jocelyne Fleming, policy and public affairs officer for CIOB in Scotland, said:

We must improve the energy efficiency of Scotland’s drafty homes at a greater pace and scale than we’ve seen to date to reach our climate change objectives, reduce fuel poverty and ensure everyone in Scotland has a warm, safe, home that is affordable to heat.

Funding schemes which are short-lived and not well promoted simply aren’t achieving results when it comes to making Scotland’s homes more energy efficient and in turn lowering bills. We need government to develop a clear strategy on retrofit which addresses how it can be delivered on the scale and at the pace needed. This delivery plan needs to consider the resources necessary to get there, such as the recruitment and retention of a skilled workforce. As we’ve seen from the data, the success of government energy efficiency programming is integral to spurring on widescale retrofit. As such, Government must ensure that these programmes are well-promoted and accessible to residents.