Social landlords to receive £3.5m in extra funding for energy efficiency



The Scottish Government has announced funding of £3.5 million for social landlords to improve the energy efficiency of their properties.

The funding is being provided for measures such as insulation and internal improvements to social rented accommodation.

To receive the funding, projects must also include activity to reduce a building’s carbon footprint, such as ground source heat pumps, biomass energy from organic material and solar panels.

By the end of 2021, the Scottish Government will have allocated more than £1 billion since 2009 to tackle fuel poverty and improve energy efficiency, making homes warmer and cheaper to heat.

Communities and Local Government Secretary Aileen Campbell said: “A warm home that feels safe, stable and permanent gives people a greater sense of wellbeing. That is why are working to remove poor energy efficiency as a driver of fuel poverty and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“This year alone £145 million has been allocated to improve the energy efficiency of Scotland’s building stock.

“Social landlords are already making excellent progress towards their energy efficiency targets. This additional funding will help further that progress, encouraging innovative approaches and ideas.”

The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) has welcomed the announcement.

Sally Thomas, SFHA chief executive, said: “The SFHA has been calling for additional support for social landlords to reduce fuel poverty and increase energy efficiency, and we are pleased that the Scottish Government has announced this £3.5 million and hope it is the first step towards permanent funding.

“A recent survey by SFHA reported a 73% increase in tenants at risk of or experiencing fuel poverty, with welfare reform given as one of the main causes. Addressing energy efficiency alone will not be enough to eradicate fuel poverty, and we will keep lobbying the UK Government to raise social security in line with inflation to ensure no one has to choose between heating or eating.”