An alliance of 50 organisations has called on the Scottish Government to make “draughty and unhealthy” homes a thing of the past within the next decade.
The group wants the Government to commit to ensuring that all homes are at least an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) band C by 2025.
All buildings need an EPC certificate when they are built, sold or rented out, indicating energy efficiency. They are rated in bands A-G, with A being the best and G the worst.
The alliance, which includes organisations ranging from the Church of Scotland to the Federation of Master Builders, says the benefits of improving EPC ratings include helping to reduce fuel poverty, cutting household fuel bills, lowering climate change emissions, creating jobs and preventing ill health.
The Scottish Government has pledged to make energy efficiency a National Infrastructure Priority.
Alan Ferguson, chairman of the Existing Homes Alliance, said: “This is vital if we as a nation are to end fuel poverty blighting our homes and step up to the challenge of climate change. However, we now need to see concrete proposals and clear goals from the Scottish Government to make this happen.
“These should include a goal of helping all homes reach a C energy performance standard by 2025, and a commitment to major long-term funding to support investment in energy efficiency.”
Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil said: “Tackling fuel poverty and climate change are key priorities for the Scottish Government, which is why since 2009 we have invested over half a billion pounds in fuel poverty and energy efficiency measures, and this year we have allocated a record budget of £119 million.”
He said the Government would develop a programme over the next two years to deliver its pledge on making energy efficiency a national priority.
“While the details of the programme are still to be developed, it will provide support for buildings across all of Scotland and co-ordinate actions on both energy efficiency and heat for homes, commercial and public buildings,” he said.
Green MSP Alison Johnstone said: “This call is very welcome and shows the need for government to go further and faster to tackle the blight of Scotland’s draughty, unhealthy homes.
“During discussions on the 2015-16 budget Scottish Greens pressed for action, resulting in an extra £20 million for fuel poverty measures. This was welcome but still way below what is required.
“The Existing Homes Alliance aim that by 2025 all homes are at least an Energy Performance Certificate band C is ambitious but necessary if we’re serious about tackling fuel poverty, climate change emissions and preventing ill health.”