The Scottish National Investment Bank (SNIB) has called on the Scottish Government to prioritize revisions to building regulations in a bid to avoid ‘expensive’ renovations.
A new report from the Development Bank, focusing on how the nation can achieve net zero by 2045, highlights that £33billion is needed by 2045 to move Scotland’s heating away from “fuels carbon-intensive and low-efficiency”.
He estimates that £5 billion is needed alone to replace existing fossil fuel heating systems in homes on a like-for-like basis.
SNIB said that private sector investment and financing structures are therefore needed to enter the market and facilitate the transition.
The report also argued that following its detailed analysis of the Scottish Government‘s Environmental Performance Certificates (EPCs), the Government must make recommendations to property owners to focus on net-zero and low-emissions solutions. carbon footprint, particularly where individuals may seek practical support.
He made a number of recommendations to address the energy efficiency and skills challenge, suggesting that the government should identify homes with “the lowest energy efficiency and the greatest potential for reducing emissions through improvements in insulation”.
SNIB has found that tackling poor energy efficiency can reduce heating costs and help those struggling with fuel poverty, which currently affects around a quarter of Scottish households.
Over 70% of households in Scotland have EPC grades of D or C, with 15% having E, F or G grades.
The report indicates that trunk networks, which rely on a common heat source to provide reliable and cheaper heat to homes, have the potential to deliver multiple benefits in terms of poverty reduction, health and well-being, as well as reducing emissions.
SNIB’s recent investment in PfP Capital, to build mid-range rental housing to energy efficiency standards, is one of the ways it is working with social housing providers to enable more people to access to better quality housing.
The report also suggests that the Scottish Government build on its current policy with the District Heating (Scotland) Act to help households make the transition, as “there remains a need to build further to give confidence in the commerciality of the sector”.
SNIB said the government could pilot a means-tested program to target individuals, with tailored financial and practical support where it is most needed.
CPE analysis found that homes with the lowest efficiency ratings would benefit the most financially from investing in insulation upgrades, which would help reduce emissions while broader action is taken. to decarbonize heat in buildings nationwide.
The report concluded that a plan was needed to address the “skills shortage” in areas related to modernization, which will create a new employment opportunity, while preventing the skills shortage that is currently “blocking” the transition.
Another section added that SNIB plans to work with the financial services sector to create financial instruments for net zero heat – and is exploring the possibility of partnering with mortgage lenders to help homeowners finance the decarbonization and insulation of their property.
“There is potential for developing new, innovative financial instruments in collaboration with mortgage providers, to pilot programs that help homeowners cover the upfront costs required for modifications to their property,” the report said.
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