Friends of the Earth Scotland today welcomed the launch of the Scottish Government’s Consultation on the Energy Efficiency Action Plan (Thursday 7 October), and called for increased funding and effective regulation to cut energy use and create jobs.

Duncan McLaren, Chief Executive of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: “The government’s figure of £7,000 per home needed to meet the 2020 targets may seem ‘eye-watering’, but compared to the average house value in Scotland it’s a small investment to make homes fit for the future.

“Fast, decisive and properly resourced action to cut energy use is central to delivering Scotland’s ambitious targets and speed up Scotland’s path to an energy efficient future. Scotland’s Climate Act provides the necessary legislative backing.

“Now Ministers must not just rely on public action but must also commit their resources to implement the right measures now. Government spending of at least £100million per year is necessary to deliver energy savings and jobs at the scale required.

“In the current economic situation, investment in demand reduction and energy efficiency must be a priority, to help householders and business cut their energy bills, as well as reduce emissions. Government action to support demand reduction means more than advertising campaigns and education – the Government needs to ensure the regulations and infrastructure such as smart metering are in place to support this goal.
 
“The consultation pays welcome attention to skills. Everyone who works in the buildings sector, from architects to tradespeople and planners to plumbers, must be adequately trained and skilled to deliver Government’s proposals. A certified training and accreditation scheme – similar to the CORGI scheme – would engender confidence in the general public, and ensure compliance with best practice, as well as provide training and skills development in a depleted sector at a time when talk of ‘Green Jobs’ is all the rage.”

McLaren concluded: “The Government must ensure its actions match its aspirations too. The consultation talks about reducing demand for travel and the associated energy use but this Government are unwavering in their commitment to an unnecessary additional Forth crossing.”

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact:

Per Fischer, Press Office, Friends of the Earth Scotland
T: 0131 243 2719

Notes to Editors

1.    Conserve and Save: A Consultation on the Energy Efficiency Plan for Scotland:
scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2009/10/07160816
2.    Scottish Government news release on loan scheme for home insulation: scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2009/10/08103328
3.    Friends of the Earth Scotland exists to help people in Scotland look after the planet for everyone’s future. We think globally and act locally in Scotland, delivering solutions to climate change by enabling and empowering people to take both individual and collective action. We offer help to people with the big things in life – helping to sustain a healthy society and environment. We believe that all of our children’s futures will be better because of what we do. www.foe-scotland.org.uk