Energy Saving Trust

£80m strategic energy blueprint unveiled with 50% clean energy pledge by 2030

The Scottish Government has published the country’s first Energy Strategy which it said will strengthen the development of local energy, empower and protect consumers, and support climate change efforts while tackling fuel poverty.

The strategy includes a range of actions, including a £20 million Energy Investment Fund, which will build on the success of the Renewable Energy Investment Fund, and a £60m Low Carbon Innovation Fund, to provide dedicated support for renewable and low carbon infrastructure over and above wider interventions to support innovation across the economy.

An open consultation was conducted at the beginning of the year which drew over 250 substantive responses. Those detailed responses, as well as feedback from the Scottish Energy Advisory Board and responses to further consultations on the onshore wind policy statement, local heat and energy efficiency strategies, regulation of district heating, and unconventional oil and gas, have helped shape, inform and influence the strategy.

The strategy’s six strategic priorities include:

  • Promote consumer engagement and protect consumers from excessive costs
  • Champion Scotland’s renewable energy potential, creating new jobs and supply chain opportunities
  • Improve the energy efficiency of Scotland’s homes, buildings, industrial processes and manufacturing
  • Continue to support investment and innovation across our oil and gas sector, including exploration, innovation, subsea engineering, decommissioning and carbon capture and storage
  • Ensure homes and businesses can continue to depend on secure, resilient and flexible energy supplies
  • Empower communities by supporting innovative local energy systems and networks

During a statement to the Scottish Parliament yesterday, business, energy and innovation minister, Paul Wheelhouse, also announced that the latest figures from the Energy Saving Trust show a 12% increase in the level of community and locally owned renewable capacity operating in Scotland, which now sits at more than 660MW.

Wide engagement and public consultation on a publicly owned energy company is planned for 2018. The aim is that this company will support economic development and contribute to tackling fuel poverty, as well as being run on a not-for-profit basis.

Mr Wheelhouse said: “Scotland has world class skills, expertise and knowledge, from the North Sea oil and gas industry to our academic institutions and smaller start-ups to our cutting edge low carbon technology.

“This strategy recognises and builds on our achievements to date and on Scotland’s capacity for innovation. It places consumers, and their interests, more firmly than ever at the heart of everything that we do.

“We are leading the way in promoting community and locally owned renewable energy – well ahead of the rest of the UK – as figures announced today demonstrate.

“This strategy will guide decisions of the Scottish Government over the coming decades. We want to make sure, within the scope of our devolved powers, good stewardship of Scotland’s energy sector – something we have called the UK government to step up to for years.”

Responding to the publication, Gina Hanrahan, acting head of policy at WWF Scotland, said: “It’s great to see the Scottish Government cement its ambitions to deliver half of our energy from renewable sources by 2030. In uncertain times for investment, it is a strong statement that Scotland is open for low-carbon business and plans to build on its fantastic progress on renewable electricity in the heat and transport sectors.

“A transformation in how we heat our homes and offices, how we travel to work and school, and how we power our industries will generate many social and economic benefits. Independent research for WWF Scotland shows that this is necessary to deliver climate change targets and can be delivered with existing technologies.

“To ensure a truly effective, joined-up strategy, more effort needs to be put into developing policy to reduce our demand for energy in the first place. The Scottish Government needs to enable people to get out of their cars, insulate their homes and improve the energy efficiency of their businesses. With growing demand for the Climate Change Bill to increase our ambition in line with the Paris Agreement, a clearer vision and bold, substantive policies will be needed more than ever. The final Climate Change Plan, due in February, should be the real test of whether this strategy is given teeth.”

Sam Ghibaldan, head of the Consumer Futures Unit (CFU) at Citizens Advice Scotland, stressed the importance of consumer engagement and protection as the first theme of the Scottish Government’s Energy Strategy.

He said: “As we journey to a low carbon future the energy market will be disrupted, and consumers’ interests should be put first as new structures and technologies are adopted.

“New systems must be easily understood by householders, and their rights must be clear. The CFU, as the independent energy consumer advocate, will ensure the consumer voice is heard during the development of energy efficiency and district heating policy, and in other areas addressed by the energy strategy.

“As the energy system of the future evolves it is critical that consumers are considered, empowered and protected if change is going to succeed.”

Scottish Renewables said the new renewable energy target contained the strategy shows “huge ambition”.

The goal, suggested by the industry body in January 2016, will see half of all energy – for heat, transport and electricity – coming from renewable sources by 2030.

Claire Mack, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, added: “Scotland’s first Energy Strategy heralds a new era for the energy system used by us all, and provides a roadmap for others to follow.

“For the first time, the Scottish Government has set out a holistic plan for how we produce and use energy, breaking down the barriers between electricity, heat and transport.

“The huge ambition of the new target is to be commended. The Strategy creates a framework for us as an industry, Scotland’s policymakers and the public to think in different ways about energy supply and demand.

“It should also provide much-needed impetus to tackle issues like the decarbonisation of our heat supply, levels of fuel poverty and the challenges presented by the roll-out of electric vehicles.

“Of particular note is the 50% renewable energy target contained in the Strategy, which sends a strong signal to industry that renewables should take its place the heart of our economy.

“Previous targets laid the foundation for the rapid growth of Scotland’s renewable energy industry – an industry which already employs 26,000 people, invests hundreds of millions of pounds every year and displaces the equivalent carbon emissions of our entire transport sector.

“This new target has the potential to do the same not just for the continued growth of our renewable electricity sector but also for heat and transport, where action to decarbonise is urgently needed.”

More homes using renewable heat than ever before

RenewablesMore Scottish homes and businesses are seeing the benefit of renewable heat than ever before, according to new figures.

New figures published today by the Energy Saving Trust, on behalf of the Scottish Government, estimate that last year saw the largest annual increase in renewable heat output since measurement began in 2008 – up by over 1,100 GWh in a single year.

In 2015, the proportion of non-electrical heat demand generated in Scotland from renewable sources is expected to be at least 5.3 per cent, up from 3.8 per cent in 2014 and a continuation of year-on-year increases since 2008/2009.

The majority of the increase in output has come from large commercial sites installing biomass and combined heat and power systems and from installations supported by the non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive.

However, renewable heat capacity in homes, including small-scale biomass as well as other increasingly popular technologies such as heat pumps, has also risen – with capacity growing by a very impressive 44 per cent between 2014 and 2015.

Minister for business, innovation and energy, Paul Wheelhouse, said: “With Autumn well underway, and the weather getting noticeably cooler, families and businesses across Scotland will, no doubt, be considering turning on their heating for the cooler weather ahead. “Heat makes up more than 50 per cent of Scotland’s current energy consumption and approximately 47 per cent of our emissions – the largest source for both.

“That is why these record-breaking figures are so encouraging. They show that programmes such as the District Heating Loan Scheme, the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme and the Home Energy Scotland renewables loans scheme are inspiring people to harness renewable energy to heat their homes and their businesses. These and our other programmes support the uptake of the GB wide Renewable Heat Incentive scheme, in which Scotland continues to punch above its weight.

“That is not to say we should be in any way complacent. We have a target of 11 per cent of non-electrical heat demand from renewable sources by 2020 and while these figures show we are making great progress in both reducing our demand for heat and increasing the output of renewable heat we need to do more. So, these figures also highlight there is much more work to do to reduce demand, supply heat more efficiently and increase the role renewable heat plays in Scotland’s energy mix. That’s why we continue to develop new and existing avenues of support in this important area and this will be reflected in our forthcoming Energy Strategy.”

Welcoming the publication, WWF Scotland director, Lang Banks, said: “With close to half of Scotland’s energy use and climate change emissions coming from our heating needs, it’s imperative that Scotland makes progress in decarbonising our heat generation. Whilst it’s welcome to see that we’ve broken the 5 per cent barrier for generating heat from renewable sources, we’ve still got a long way to go if we are to secure all the benefits of a transition to a zero-carbon economy.

“This news shows that there’s an expanding market for renewable heat in Scotland. We know from opinion polling that more action to expand renewable heating in Scotland would be popular with the public, with almost two-thirds of people saying they want to see the Scottish Government do more. That’s why we’re calling for Scottish Ministers to go further, using a Warm Homes Act in Scotland to establish a regulatory framework that supports the growth of renewable and district heating.”

Stephanie Clark, policy manager at Scottish Renewables, added: “The marked increase in heat being delivered by renewable sources shows that progress is being made towards our 2020 target – a vital goal when heat makes up more than half of the energy we use in Scotland.

“Reducing the amount of heat we use is a first step to tackling emissions linked to the sector, and these figures also show welcome headway is being made in improving the energy efficiency of Scotland’s buildings.

“If we are to continue this positive progress it’s important that the UK government clarify the future of the Renewable Heat Incentive, through which technologies like heat pumps are supported, and that public awareness of renewable heat solutions increases.”

Green home owner invites Ayrshire neighbours to look through the keyhole

 Ann and Sandy Dickson

Ann and Sandy Dickson

Ayrshire residents have the chance to look through the keyhole at one of Scotland’s most inspirational green homes this weekend when Beith homeowners, Sandy and Ann Dickson, open their doors to the public.

The open day is part of a series of ‘Green Designs’ open doors events showcasing a selection of properties on the Green Homes Network, managed by the Energy Saving Trust.

Visitors can look around, chat to the owner about their experiences, and get specialist advice about energy efficiency and renewable technology for their own property from Home Energy Scotland.

The homes taking part across Scotland this year include sustainable new builds, unique eco-homes and historic properties that have been modernised with green technology.

And the Dicksons’ aspirational self-build home, featuring complementary technologies ranging from heat recovery and heat pump systems, solar panels and enhanced insulation and glazing, definitely has the ‘wow factor’. Their journey started in 2011 when they decided to demolish their home of 30 years and build a new, more efficient home on the same site.

Sandy said: “The inspiration came from not wanting to have a draughty and hard-to-heat building with expensive oil-fired heating. And from my own research into energy saving technologies, we knew that incorporating these into the design would help us achieve our goals from the start.”

Anthony Kyriakides, renewables manager at the Energy Saving Trust in Scotland, said: “The Dicksons are great ambassadors for the Green Homes Network and will be more than happy to share helpful and honest insights with everyone who visits. What’s more, they will show that all homes no matter how big, small, new or old can be made greener, more comfortable and cheaper to run.”

The property will be open to visitors on 13 August 2016 from 10am to 3pm. For more information or to find details on other events visit greenhomesopendays.org.uk.

Public Procurement Workshops – Tendering for Energy Efficiency and Renewables Contracts

The Energy Saving Trust with funding from the Scottish Government and in partnership with the Supplier Development Programme are organising a series of free to attend tendering workshops to help SME contractors and suppliers become more successful at writing winning tender submissions.

Supplier Development ProgrammeDate and Location

4 November – Inverness

5 November – Orkney

17 November – Glasgow

24 November – Dunfermline

Why attend?

Renewable Energy and National Infrastructure Priorities including Energy Efficiency for domestic and non-domestic buildings in Scotland has the potential to create 40,000 jobs throughout the supply chain and involves over £30 Billion of investment as part of The Scottish Government’s 2020 Routemap to reduce emissions, strengthen energy security and increase local ownership.

This will create a vibrant market place for contractors and suppliers to bid for public contracts.

However, many good companies are unsuccessful when they bid for public contracts as they are unable to translate their otherwise successful approach to business into a public sector context.

The one day workshops will provide bidders in this market place, with the skills and tools to bid for energy efficiency and renewables contracts in the public sector.

The workshops are designed for motivated contractors and suppliers who want to understand public procurement and learn to bid better.

What will be covered?

The Workshops topics will include,

  • Why are the Public Procurement Regulations important?
  • Selling to the public sector and why it is different?
  • Finding opportunities
  • Prequalification
  • Do you really know what you are “selling”?
  • Who are you “selling” to?
  • Invitation to tender
  • Most economically advantageous tender
  • What to do if you are unsuccessful
  • Writing better bids – top tips – for public (and private) sector bids.

Who should attend?

These workshops are open to any SME supplier involved with low carbon retrofit work looking to win contracts relating to energy efficiency and renewables in the domestic and non-domestic sector.

How do I book a place?

Click on the venue links above or visit https://www.sdpscotland.co.uk/events-training/.

New £224m scheme to tackle fuel poverty

Domestic-energy-use--fuel povertyFirst minister Nicola Sturgeon has unveiled a new fuel poverty scheme, backed by up to £224 million from the Scottish Government, which will help as many as 28,000 Scots to heat their homes.

Over the next seven years, Warmer Homes Scotland will install measures such as insulation, heating and domestic renewables in households identified as fuel poor.

People in rural and island areas will be offered the same service as those in easier to reach parts of Scotland.

The Home Energy Scotland campaign has also been launched to encourage Scots to call the hotline 0808 808 2282 and take advantage of the free help to reduce fuel bills.

It will provide advice on how to reduce heating bills and which of the home energy improvement schemes, including Warmer Homes Scotland, they are eligible for.

Ms Sturgeon said: “Nothing is more important to me than responding to the real pressures that individuals and families across Scotland face.

“Through this scheme, the Scottish Government will deliver the best possible help to thousands of people who are blighted by fuel poverty, struggling to keep their homes warm and pay their energy bills.

“Warmer Homes Scotland is tailored to give vulnerable households living in fuel poverty access to measures to make their homes more energy efficient.

“Since 2009, we have allocated over half a billion pounds to make Scotland’s homes more energy efficient, which has helped over 700,000 households reduce their fuel bills.”

Social justice secretary Alex Neil said: “Tackling inequality is at the heart of the Scottish Government’s commitment to creating a fairer country for all.

“Warmer Homes Scotland will help thousands of Scots on low incomes have homes that are easier and cheaper to heat.

“People living in our island and rural mainland communities will have the same chances to make their homes easier to heat as people living in urban areas.”

Mike Thornton, Energy Saving Trust, director of government services, added: “This scheme helps householders who are struggling with their energy bills with really practical support, helping them right the way through the process from the time they call up through to when the work is done.

“Vulnerable householders will receive their own personal adviser and all customers will be supported through any complex issue or challenge they may face along the way.”

Government to make improving energy efficiency of Scotland’s homes a ‘National Infrastructure Priority’

Aileen McLeod

Aileen McLeod

Reducing energy bills and fighting fuel poverty will be at the heart of the Scottish Government’s efforts to tackle climate change as ministers announced a comprehensive new package of measures covering transport, environment and energy.

In a statement to the Scottish Parliament, climate change minister Aileen McLeod has announced that improving the energy efficiency of Scotland’s homes and non-domestic building stock will be designated a National Infrastructure Priority.

Following a visit to a housing energy efficiency project in Dumbiedykes in Edinburgh, Dr McLeod revealed that Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme will provide an offer of support to all buildings in Scotland – domestic and non-domestic – to help them achieve a good energy efficiency rating over the next 15-20 years.

It will also use new powers – due to be devolved in the Scotland Bill – to determine how supplier obligations in relation to energy efficiency and fuel poverty can be better designed to better suit Scottish circumstances, as well as levering in private sector investment.

The announcement follows the publication of Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions for 2013 which show that Scotland is on track to meet its 42 per cent emissions reduction target ahead of schedule, despite its failure to meet climate change targets for four years in a row.

The minister said: “Heating and cooling our homes and businesses costs £2.6 billion a year and accounts for approximately half of Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions. Energy efficiency is clearly key to meeting our ambitious climate change targets which is why action on energy is a key focus as the Scottish Government step up our action on climate change.
“There is no silver bullet to tackling climate change which is why we are building on previous actions and announcing a comprehensive package of measures across a range of sectors.

“We are already making good progress and since 2008, nearly one in three households have installed energy efficiency measures to benefit from warmer homes and lower energy bills.

“The Scottish Government has already increased investment in domestic energy efficiency – from £99 million last year to £119m this year. And since 2009 we have allocated over half a billion pounds on Fuel Poverty and Energy Efficiency programmes.

“But we must do more to meet Scotland’s world-leading and ambitious climate change targets. That is why I am today announcing that improving the energy efficiency of Scotland’s buildings will be designated a National Infrastructure priority.”

Welcoming the move, Alan Ferguson, chair of the Existing Homes Alliance Scotland, said: “This announcement should lead to the step-change in ambition and scale that is required if we want everyone to live in warm, affordable and low carbon homes. Making energy efficiency a National Infrastructure Priority should, in our view, mean that the Scottish Government is working to upgrade all homes to a C energy standard by 2025.

“No other infrastructure investment can achieve so much – tackling climate change while helping pensioners, young families, students, single parents to save money on fuel bills, improve their health, and lift people out of fuel poverty. It will also create and sustain jobs in every part of Scotland – upskilling the workforce to turn our leaky, cold homes into housing that is fit for the 21st century.

“This is the only way to permanently reduce energy bills – it is also the cheapest way to decarbonise energy generation. With this infrastructure priority and multi-year capital budgets, Scotland will enjoy supply-chain confidence and attract private investment for installations, research and innovation.”

The Existing Homes Alliance believes the infrastructure priority should have multi-year budgets and aim to achieve a high energy performance standard for all housing – the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) band C – or above by 2025. This means at least 127,000 homes would be upgraded every year.

The Alliance said that yesterday’s emissions figures which show that residential emissions are flat lining is “disappointing” and proves that the infrastructure priority will need substantially more resources to make sure housing emissions are consistently going down.

Alan Ferguson added: “The Existing Homes Alliance looks forward to working with the Scottish Government on developing the detail of this national infrastructure priority so it can fulfil its potential and meet the needs of householders today and in the future.”

The announcement was also welcomed by the Energy Saving Trust.

Mike Thornton, director, Scotland, Energy Saving Trust said: “Energy efficiency is the best way to reduce carbon emissions from buildings, lower the cost of energy bills for ordinary households and make homes warmer, healthier and more comfortable. The significant increase in energy efficiency activity implied by today’s announcement will help to contribute to economic growth across Scotland and create and maintain jobs in every part of the country. We look forward to continuing to work with the Scottish Government to deliver energy efficiency programmes in Scotland.”

The Scottish Green Party has called on the Scottish Government to be bolder in their policy actions and increase its housing and transport ambitions.

Patrick Harvie, Scottish Green MSP for Glasgow, said the commitment to national action on energy efficient homes is a policy championed by Scottish Green MSPs for over a decade.

Patrick said: “Scottish ministers have been resisting Green proposals for ambitious action for years and only now after four failed targets appear to be catching up with the need to pursue policies that make our country greener and fairer.

“My colleague Alison Johnstone secured an agreement from deputy first minister John Swinney last November on our longstanding policy that energy efficient homes should be a national infrastructure priority to cut bills, cut emissions and create jobs. We pursued this during the last budget process, resulting in an increase of £20m but it’s nowhere near enough.

“On transport, while the minister says she has sought opportunities, her government’s track record shows the opposite. Their policy on scrapping air passenger duty would increase emissions by 60,000 tonnes a year. And they still only spend one per cent of the transport budget on walking and cycling infrastructure.

“On energy we know that even if the Scottish Government meets its targets on renewables, only three per cent will be community or locally owned, limiting the creation of revenue for investing in local low-carbon economies.

“(Yesterday’s) statement is the latest in a long line of paper promises and yet more small scale pilot projects when we already know what needs to be done.”