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Scottish Warm Rented Homes Coalition: energy efficiency in the private rented sector

ACE have made a submission as part of the Scottish Warm Rented Homes Coalition to the Scottish Government’s Private Rented Sector Strategy Group on the need for minimum energy efficiency standards for private rented housing in Scotland.

In Summary

The social rented sector is currently required to bring its stock up to a National Home Energy Rating (NHER ) of 5 by 2015. We propose this requirement be extended to encompass both the social rented and the private rented sectors. We also believe an ‘escalator’ should be applied to increase the minimum energy efficiency score in both sectors regularly thereafter

This submission is supported by Age Concern Scotland, Association for the Conservation of Energy, Energy Action Scotland, Friends of the Earth Scotland, Help the Aged in Scotland, Oxfam Scotland, The Poverty Alliance and WWF Scotland

Context

Scotland’s homes account for a third of our greenhouse gas emissions . According to Government figures, just over a quarter of Scottish households were in fuel poverty in 2007 , while estimates from NGOs put the figure closer to one in three . Official figures for 2008, due to be published very shortly, will give a more up-to-date picture of the situation. The Scottish Government has a statutory duty under the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 42% by 2020, and to lift all Scots out of fuel poverty by 2016 under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001. Meanwhile a recent review by ofgem estimated that average domestic fuel bills will increase by between 14% and 25% by 2020. To be clear therefore: the Scottish Government MUST reduce emissions from our housing stock by at least 42% by 2020 and MUST lift all Scots out of fuel poverty by 2016. The only issue up for debate is how this is achieved. The statutory objectives cannot, we believe, be achieved without substantial energy efficiency improvements to our building stock.

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