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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-10356: Jackie Baillie (Dumbarton)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 17 July 2017

To ask the Scottish Government how the spending on each fuel poverty programme compared with the budget allocated 2016-17, and how any underspend has been re-allocated.

Answered by: Angela Constance 11 August 2017

The Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Constitution announced the 2016-17 provisional outturn figures on 22 June. These are currently subject to the final audit process.

The final 2016-17 Fuel Poverty and Energy Efficiency budget was £119m. An increase of £16m on the draft budget. This reflects additional funding allocated in year to support delivery of our Warmer Homes Scotland scheme and to assist social landlords in meeting the Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing.

The provisional budget outturn for 2016-17 notes a variance of £3m in the outturn in the Fuel Poverty and Energy Efficiency Budget. This occurs in our Home Energy Efficiency Programmes for Scotland (HEEPS): Area Based Schemes, covering standard ABS projects and phase 1 of the Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme (SEEP) Pilots. The nature of these schemes involves technically difficult measures being installed on properties which can lead to delays in completion and invoicing. Officials are in regular contact with local authority counterparts seeking updates and reassurance on forecast spend. Despite repeated reassurances during the year, some councils declared an underspend very late in the financial year, by which time it was too late to use the allocated budget for this purpose. As is normal practice, this budget underspend was used to help offset additional spend elsewhere in the Scottish Government.