SCOTTISH ministers will be urged to carry out a radical overhaul of how fuel poverty is tackled – by ensuring warm homes for all are central to its climate change bill. MSPs will vote on government proposals at Holyrood this week. But in an eleventh hour intervention, Climate Change secretary Roseanne Cunningham and her fellow cabinet colleagues will be pressed to look again at how fuel poverty can be tackled. It comes as temperatures are expected to dip, leaving thousands of Scots households suffering through winter. Scottish Greens Energy and Climate Spokesperson Mark Ruskell MSP revealed he has laid a number of amendments to the bill, which will be debated by parliament this week, including a change that would force the Scottish. Government to improve the energy efficiency of Scotland’s homes. He told The Herald: “Far too many families live in fuel poverty, unable to heat their homes adequately due to exorbitant energy prices and a lack of energy efficiency measures. “That’s why I’m proposing changes to the Scottish Government’s Climate Change Bill. “Everyone should be able to live comfortably, but we know that a far too many can’t and that often leads to damp and mould, which can cause serious health problems.” He also stressed the benefits of energy efficiency for the climate, adding: “Fuel poverty also contributes to Scotland’s climate emissions. Poor energy efficiency means that many households are having to use far more energy than they need for heat. “That’s why I’m demanding that the Scottish Government gets behind my proposal by committing to delivering warm homes for everyone. It makes sense for our health, wellbeing and for our planet.” Recent figures show that Scotland’s homes are fierce emitters of carbon, largely because of the power needed for heating and for hot water. Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) survey from June revealed one in 10 workers in Scotland was unable to pay a gas or electricity bill at least once last year due to a lack of money. The poll, conducted for CAS by YouGov, found seven per cent of respondents had run out of funds once or twice, while 2% had done so “more than six times”. Renewed definitions of fuel poverty in May revealed 583,000 Scottish households are in fuel poverty and 293,000 are in “extreme” fuel poverty.
Herald 23rd Sept 2019 read more »