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Scotland’s Fuel Poverty Deadline Now Marked At Three Months

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Castle Eilean Donan by scott1346 via Flickr

Campaigners are marking three months to Scotland’s fuel poverty deadline by calling for a three point plan to improve the energy efficiency of the nation’s cold and leaky homes.

The organisations’ call follows the recent admission by the Scottish Government that this November’s statutory target for eradicating fuel poverty will not be met. The Scottish Government has reaffirmed its commitment to eradicating fuel poverty but has not yet announced new policies in response to the impending missed target.

Members of the Existing Homes Alliance, whose members include WWF Scotland, Scottish Federation of Housing Associations and Energy Action Scotland, are calling for:

1.       New investment:

The forthcoming Scottish Government budget to significantly increase public investment in home energy efficiency measures, so that fewer households waste cash heating leaky homes. There is an excellent return of benefits for such investment.

2.       An ambitious national programme:

The forthcoming Programme for Government to set an objective for a national infrastructure programme that supports every home to reach at least an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) band C by 2025. Such a move would largely eliminate energy efficiency as a driver of fuel poverty, benefit 1.5million households, help reduce energy bills, cut the nation’s carbon emissions, reduce NHS costs of treating illnesses related to cold and damp homes, and create up to 9,000 new jobs spread across Scotland. This objective is also supported by more than 50 major civil society organisations.

3.       Consult on regulation:

Ministers must publish a delayed consultation on the regulation of energy efficiency in private sector. This would leverage private investment into tackling fuel poverty and help those in rented accommodation, where the energy efficiency of homes is lowest.

With the target countdown now on, we hope our proposed three-point plan is a constructive contribution that the Government can take forward.

Alan Ferguson, chair of the Existing Homes Alliance said: “It is a national shame that there are currently 845,000 households in Scotland living in fuel poverty, and that energy inefficient homes stop many of those from escaping that poverty. Households are forced to waste precious cash and carbon because their homes leak out the warm air.

“It is of course disappointing that Scotland will miss the target to eradicate fuel poverty, which the Government has now acknowledged. We now strongly encourage Ministers to use the remaining three months to develop new plans that redouble efforts to tackle the scourge of fuel poverty.

“With the target countdown now on, we hope our proposed three-point plan is a constructive contribution that the Government can take forward. Investment in energy efficiency is a no-brainer, working alongside efforts to raise incomes and reduce energy costs. It will help lift people out of fuel poverty, stimulate the economy, create jobs and cut our climate change emissions.”

Economy

A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon

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energy efficient homes

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

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Economy

IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”

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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.”

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