Draft Scottish Energy Strategy

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 24th January 2017.

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Photo of Paul Wheelhouse Paul Wheelhouse Scottish National Party

I recognise the importance of tackling fuel poverty and of improving the energy efficiency of our buildings. I hope that we have common ground on that, although we clearly have a difference of opinion about the Scottish Government’s approach.

From my previous tenure as Minister for Environment and Climate Change,

I know that there has been much chopping and changing of policy on the green deal and other measures to support energy efficiency in recent years. Obviously, the green deal has been cancelled, and that had a direct impact on the Scottish Government’s budget. We have tried to replace the loss of green deal funding and we have put in substantial investment.

The fact that £500 million is being invested by the Scottish Government over the period up to 2021 is not a minor matter, but I reassure the member that it is just part of a longer-term programme that goes well beyond 2021. We are launching the consultation on Scotland’s energy efficiency programme to elicit views on how best to implement it. It is a national infrastructure priority and a very high priority for the Government and, I hope, the whole Parliament.

I am happy to work with the member and his colleagues in the Scottish Conservatives, as they have positive ideas about how we implement SEEP. Mr Stewart, the Minister for Local Government and Housing, will also be happy to engage with Mr Burnett. The Scottish Government has been putting its money where its mouth is. There is not an equivalent programme in England at the moment, so we feel confident that we are making great strides forwards. We can always do more, but we are making significant investment in energy efficiency.