A £14 million fund will allow councils across Scotland to make homes, public buildings and businesses more energy efficient, Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil has announced.
Scotland's Energy Efficiency Programme (SEEP) will help improve warmth in buildings and homes, drive down energy bills and work towards reaching climate change targets. The fund will help local authorities to pilot new and innovative approaches to energy efficiency with community groups and businesses, which can then be taken forward when SEEP is rolled out fully from 2018.
Mr Neil said:
"Over 900,000 energy efficiency measures have been carried out across homes in Scotland since 2008. SEEP will work with businesses and the commercial sector to see how we can achieve similar successes. This pilot phase will allow councils to test the effectiveness of new approaches to energy efficiency.
"Across Scotland, we have allocated over half a billion pounds since 2009 on a raft of measures to help the most vulnerable people in our society heat their homes affordably. SEEP will help extend these measures to ensure homes, businesses and public buildings can benefit from a similar approach.
Added Kenneth Gibson MSP:
“This funding will help local authorities develop projects and ensure Scotland leads the way in energy efficiency.
“The pilot projects will integrate support across various building types to evaluate the impact of innovative approaches to funding and delivery and test the market’s appetite for energy efficiency investments in the commercial sector.”
The projects will build upon and integrate existing domestic energy efficiency programmes, bringing together support from the Scottish Government's Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme, with the Home Energy Efficiency Programme Scotland (HEEPS): Area Based Scheme.
Wilson Shaw, Chair of the National Insulation Association in Scotland, said:
"We welcome this new approach to supporting energy efficiency in Scotland. The funding is a much needed boost to the insulation industry and will help support hundreds of Scottish jobs.
"The Scottish Government's HEEPS schemes have been effective in improving the energy efficiency of our homes. It is important to build on this and I especially welcome the promotion of an integrated approach to help both homes and businesses.”