Energy Efficiency Measures (Cultural and Heritage Buildings)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 4th May 2022.

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Photo of Maurice Golden Maurice Golden Conservative

3. To ask the Scottish Government what discussions the culture minister has had with the minister for zero carbon buildings regarding work to install energy efficiency measures in cultural and heritage buildings. (S6O-01040)

Photo of Neil Gray Neil Gray Scottish National Party

The Scottish Government is working with stakeholders, including Historic Environment Scotland, to develop approaches and solutions that will decarbonise Scotland’s historic buildings and places while respecting their special characteristics.

Although I have not met with Mr Harvie in relation to this issue specifically, the Scottish ministers take collective responsibility for all decisions that are reached by the Scottish Government, and will continue to do so. That includes our commitment that all buildings reach a good level of energy efficiency, where it is technically feasible and cost effective, by 2033.

Photo of Maurice Golden Maurice Golden Conservative

Evidence that has been taken at committee points to the fact that there has been no assessment of the costs of retrofitting buildings. Will the Scottish Government commit to supporting the cultural and heritage sector in making such an assessment?

Photo of Neil Gray Neil Gray Scottish National Party

As I have just outlined, the Scottish Government has a commitment that all buildings reach a good level of energy efficiency, where it is technically feasible and cost effective, by 2033.

I know that Historic Environment Scotland and others are doing a fantastic amount of work. I recently visited the Engine Shed in Stirling, which provides a huge amount of research and training support for people who carry out work on our historic buildings. I also visited Holyrood lodge, which is just around the corner from here, where we can see some such retrofitting work. I encourage Mr Golden to visit both places so that he can see the work that is going on to encourage the work in this space.

Photo of Sarah Boyack Sarah Boyack Labour

In Edinburgh, we have many historic buildings and sites that are faced with the twin impacts of Covid and rocketing energy prices. What additional funding to mitigate the impact of climate change and to install energy efficiency measures will be given by the Scottish Government to ensure that those buildings are kept fit for purpose in the future?

Photo of Neil Gray Neil Gray Scottish National Party

The Scottish Government supports historic buildings and monuments through the work of our lead public body, Historic Environment Scotland. That includes providing £14.5 million annually for grant schemes that enable repair and revitalisation of the historic environment.

We are also currently providing substantial free advice and offering targeted support to our small and medium-sized enterprises to increase uptake of energy efficiency measures and zero emissions heating through the Business Energy Scotland support service, which is managed by the Energy Saving Trust. If Sarah Boyack wishes to raise issues in relation to specific buildings that she is concerned about, I would be happy to see that information in writing and to respond appropriately.