The Scottish government has released £450,000 (€502,467.81) to support local authorities in delivering sustainable housing in Scotland.
The funding will go towards supporting pilots of Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategies (LHEES), which aim to test local solutions for reducing emissions from buildings and addressing issues of fuel poverty, in regions which have not yet developed pilot strategies. Implementation of the strategies, which were introduced in 2016 as part of the Energy Efficient Scotland programme, has been found to improve efforts to decarbonise heat and support sustainable housing in Scotland.
A social evaluation of existing LHEES programmes conducted by the government concluded: ‘Many of the pilots served to confirm existing local knowledge and provided evidence to support proposed activities, which was generally perceived positively. The majority of participants said that the pilot had encouraged cross-department working and co-operation; however, the lead officer was often in a role which lacked line management authority or budget control, and hence had to rely on the goodwill of colleagues who did not regard LHEES as being a requirement of their role.’
The funding is open to the local authorities which are yet to produce Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategy pilot programmes:
- Angus Council;
- Comhairle nan Eilean Siar;
- East Ayrshire Council;
- East Dunbartonshire Council;
- East Renfrewshire Council;
- Moray Council;
- North Ayrshire Council;
- South Ayrshire Council; and
- West Dunbartonshire Council.
Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “Earlier this year, the First Minister acknowledged that we face a global climate emergency, and the Programme for Government set out the next steps we will take to tackle climate change. Communities and local authorities are vital in helping us achieve our ambitious target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. These strategies will give local authorities and communities a real stake in planning how to reduce emissions from how we heat our homes and buildings. The Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategies, which have already been piloted by some local authorities, respond directly to the Committee on Climate Change recommendations and will empower communities to play an active role in reducing emissions.”