Reform of social care will underpin Local Government spending, today’s Scottish budget revealed, as Ministers launched a fundamental realignment of spending on this essential service backed by £250 million of new investment. The move will see fewer people going to hospital to receive care and people spending less time in hospital.
Digital strategy spend increases to £130 million in 2016-2017 as part of package of measures to bolster the culture of innovation and connectivity across Scotland’s homes, businesses and universities, especially in rural areas.
Around £4 billion is to be invested over the next year in infrastructure – including house building, transport and digital links, including £1 billion for road and rail infrastructure and £90 million for affordable housing.
Responding to the Scottish Government’s draft budget announced today members of the Existing Homes Alliance Scotland voiced disappointment:
Alan Ferguson Chair of The Existing Homes Alliance Scotland said: “Just a day after we learnt that there has been no progress in reducing the 35 per cent of Scottish households living in fuel poverty, the draft budget for ending cold homes is less than was available this year. This fails to reflect the Government’s commitment to a National Infrastructure Priority that will create ‘transformational change’ in improving the energy efficiency of Scotland’s homes – making our housing fit for a low carbon Scotland. The evidence is clear – no other investment can do so much, particularly in a tight budget situation, to cut energy bills for the fuel poor, create 8-9000 jobs all over Scotland, reduce climate emissions and improve physical and mental health – a 2:1 benefit to cost ratio.”
Gina Hanrahan, Climate and Energy Policy Officer at WWF Scotland said: “Hot on the heels of a Paris conference that showed increased international commitment to climate action, this draft budget does not deliver on the Scottish Government’s repeated commitment to embed climate change across the budget. In particular, it has not kick started the transformational approach to improving energy efficiency to which the Scottish Government has committed.
“We hope that the Scottish Government will take the opportunity to significantly boost funding for energy efficiency in the final budget and match this with a clear goal for all homes to reach a C energy performance standard by 2025, which is the minimum required if Scotland’s to hit its climate targets. This would help us to create thousands of new jobs, improve health and reduce the scourge of fuel poverty, whilst slashing emissions.”
David Stewart, Policy Lead at the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations said: “An ambitious National Infrastructure Priority will make our homes warm, comfortable and affordable to heat – addressing both fuel poverty and climate change. Research shows that no other investment can do so much to cut energy bills for the fuel poor, create 8-9000 jobs all over Scotland, reduce climate emissions and improve physical and mental health – a 2:1 benefit to cost ratio. This would be an important stimulus for the economy. ”
A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon
Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.
There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.
1. The Rise Of Smart Windows
When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.
If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.
2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs
If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.
Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.
3. Low-E Windows Taking Over
It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.
They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.
4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges
Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.
The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.
5. Improving Our Current LEDs
Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.
That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.
Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too
Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.
ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244
IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”
IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.
Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.
Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.
Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:
“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.
We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.
There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.
We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”