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Greener homes could give £8 billion boost to Scots economy, charity claims



Improved insulation and a shift to renewable heat could create at least 9,000 jobs and boost the Scottish economy by £8bn, according to a charity.

WWF Scotland claims transforming how homes and buildings are heated could be a cornerstone of a green recovery post-coronavirus.

The charity’s “green new deal” would include bringing all homes up to a minimum standard of energy efficiency by 2030, building many new low-carbon heat networks over the next five years as well as switching hundreds of thousands of homes from fossil fuel heating to heat pumps by 2030.

Fabrice Leveque, head of policy at WWF Scotland, said: ‘A quarter of people in Scotland are living in fuel poverty.

“And with more people than ever before working from home, and many of us dreading the high fuel bills that come in each winter, proper investment in energy efficiency and better housing will help cut energy bills, tackle poverty and slash emissions.

“A sustained programme of investment in energy efficiency for our homes would create thousands of jobs, and boost GDP by at least £8bn.

“For every £1 invested, it would deliver £5 back.

“It would also prepare homes for low-carbon heating systems like heat networks and heat pumps.

“We’re also calling for clear ambition from government on deploying tried and tested heat network technology in towns and cities across Scotland.

“This would give local manufacturers and installers the green light to get to work.”

However, WWF Scotland has warned that lack of awareness about the technologies involved and economic benefits could be holding the country back.

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A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “By 2030 we want to see at least 50% of Scotland’s homes and buildings heated using zero-emission heating systems, like heat pumps and heat networks.

“Our Programme for Government has committed to investing £1.6bn over the next five years to transform the way we heat our homes and buildings including making them more energy efficient.

“This investment will directly support up to 5,000 jobs and will also help tackle fuel poverty.

“We are also currently consulting on plans for all new-build homes to have zero-emission heating systems from 2024.

“We will shortly publish a draft Heat in Buildings Strategy setting out further detail on our plans and policies to further accelerate the decarbonisation of homes and buildings across Scotland.”



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