A nationwide insulation campaign
Everyone deserves a warm home and affordable fuel bills, but fuel poverty is growing. Energy prices continue to rise, and it has become ever more costly for people to heat their homes. There is a solution that would save people substantial sums of money, and would tackle the interlinked environmental and energy crises which is increasingly urgent.
Insulating every home in Scotland is the most effective way to beat climate change, cut bills, and boost jobs at the same time. Far too many Scottish homes are poorly insulated and inefficiently heated, which means high fuel bills, especially for those on low incomes.
Green Councillors in Kirklees delivered a project to provide free loft and cavity insulation to every house that could benefit. They are providing loans for more expensive insulation measures, loans which only have to be paid back when the property is sold again. Council officers in Kirklees calculate for every £1 that their council spent on a similar insulation scheme, a further £4 was generated in the local economy.
During the negotiations ahead of the 2009 Scottish Budget, Scottish Green MSPs proposed a similar ten year programme to provide free insulation across Scotland, costed at £100m a year. The average household would have saved £340 a year. Once the job was done, even assuming no energy price rises, Scottish households would have saved a total of £782m a year every year. It would also have boosted jobs in the hard-hit construction sector, and cut Scotland's carbon emissions by 5.85%.
SNP Ministers rejected the idea, and instead launched a much smaller, means-tested scheme expected to cover just two or three houses in every thousand.
The work started so far is too little, and too slow. That means it will take far too long to get the job done. Green MSPs in the next session will make a proper ten-year programme to deliver the free nationwide insulation and other energy efficiency measures our homes need a top priority.
If you'd like to get involved in any of our regional campaigns take a look at our get involved page for ideas on how you can help.