3 November 2019

Labour’s plan to retrofit homes to the highest energy efficiency standards possible could create at least 18,500 direct and 16,600 indirect jobs in Scotland and give households a cash boost, while tackling the climate emergency.

Under plans set out today, Labour will launch a ten-year mission to upgrade almost all of the UK’s 27 million homes to the highest energy efficiency standards feasible, while installing millions of renewable and low carbon heating systems. This would save each household an average of £400 a year.

Scottish Labour is committed to implementing this in government at Holyrood – but leader Richard Leonard has challenged SNP First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to commit to rolling this out from the first day of a UK Labour government.

The plan will form a key part of Labour’s Green Industrial Revolution – a flagship policy to tackle the climate emergency through creating swathes of skilled jobs in green industries. This implements several key recommendations of the 30 by 2030 expert report for radically decarbonising the UK’s energy system.

If this policy was replicated in Scotland, following an equivalent £6billion investment from UK Labour’s National Transformation Fund, it could create an estimated 35,000 jobs. They would result from the installation of energy saving measures such as loft insulation and double glazing, renewable and low carbon technologies in almost all of Scotland’s 2.5million homes, eradicating the vast majority of fuel poverty throughout Scotland

Households in Scotland would be likely to save more than the UK average of £400 in fuel-bill savings each year, because of the colder winters in Scotland. Those living in fuel poverty would be prioritised by such a programme.

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said: “Too many home heating systems are not fit for purpose. Energy inefficiency is not only hugely damaging to the environment – it is putting unnecessary costs on household budgets. It is a scandal that many of Scotland’s most vulnerable families are faced with the choice of heating or eating.

“Labour’s proposal to retrofit homes would be a major step towards addressing the climate emergency. It could create 35,000 new jobs in Scotland and save households an average of £400 a year.”

In Scotland, the buildings sector made up nearly a quarter of Scotland’s emissions in 2016. Residential buildings made up the bulk of this at 73 per cent. But in spite of SNP promises, the Scottish Government has failed to address the problem of fuel inefficiency.

Scottish Labour has committed to such a scheme as part of its radical programme for government at Holyrood. But Mr Leonard has also challenged Ms Sturgeon to commit to matching this promise if a UK Labour government is elected on December 12.

Mr Leonard added: “Nicola Sturgeon has rightly declared a climate emergency in Scotland. It is clear that we cannot reach her target of net zero emissions by 2045 unless decisive action is taken to make our homes fuel efficient. So today I am challenging her to commit to setting this retrofitting programme in train from the first day a UK Labour government takes office.

“A vote for Labour on December 12 is a vote for a Green Industrial Revolution, warmer homes and a cleaner planet.”
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