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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-11861: Rhoda Grant (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 6 October 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what measures it has or will put in place to sufficiently rural- and island-proof energy efficiency legislation where skills, labour and materials are likely to be more expensive and scarce.

Answered by: Kevin Stewart 25 October 2017

The Scottish Government is committed to improving the energy efficiency of all types of buildings across Scotland as part of the long term Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme (SEEP). A key element of SEEP will be to ensure that we have a workforce with the right skills, in the right places and numbers, including in rural and island locations, to deliver the programme’s aims. We will publish a routemap on the future direction of the programme next year.

Energy Saving Trust (EST) work with key partners to provide skills training to help businesses, particularly those in remote rural and island areas where the supply chain is relatively sparse, gain the necessary skills and certifications to operate in the energy efficiency and renewables market.

Further, through the HEEPS: Area-Based Schemes we have distributed funding based on an assessment of need, which means that remote areas, including all island communities, receive more per head of population to tackle fuel poverty than those on the mainland.

We continue to work with the six local authorities who are represented on the Islands Strategic Group, to ensure any proposals for change are sufficiently flexible to respond to their unique but varied local circumstances. We will also look at opportunities for innovation, including using digital technology to overcome travel and distance barriers.