Chapter 6.2 Buildings

Decarbonise homes and non-domestic buildings through strong financial support

Decarbonise Scotland’s homes and non-domestic buildings through strong financial support.

UK Govt
Scottish Govt
Local Authorities
Emissions reduction
Behaviour change

In the current cost of living crisis, tackling the problems of inefficient and poor quality housing is especially urgent but policies must ensure that the cost of upgrades and retrofits must not fall on tenants. In particular policies must address the issue of exploitative landlords. Living Rent are right to say148 that the costs of upgrades and retrofits must not fall on tenants, nor should they be evicted following rising rents. Tenants must be fully consulted and approve of any changes to their homes and lived environments.

Women and marginalised groups are often priced out of buying or renting good quality housing,149 and lack of accessibility means that disabled people face a limited choice of properties. Key issues coming from a SWBG Women’s survey speak further to this point about the poor housing conditions women are facing and the challenges that their current home circumstances (i.e. renting) present for carrying out climate-friendly improvements to the home.150

Some disabled people need to keep their homes warmer than normal, and equipment such as power chairs or oxygen machines can increase electricity consumption considerably. Financial support mechanisms should be designed with these additional needs in mind.

Delivering on ambitious plans for decarbonising homes and other buildings requires financial support including:

  • fuel poverty support
  • householder/building owner grants and loans
  • other private sector financing mechanisms to reduce upfront costs
  • action to tackle the unfair imbalance between gas and electricity pricing to reduce running costs and make electric heating the more cost effective option

Investing in decarbonising homes is a win-win for tackling energy efficiency, warmer homes, improved health, reduced fuel poverty, addressing gender inequality and assisting families in the cost of living crisis. And also creating local jobs.

Action on low-carbon heat improves energy security (domestic renewables instead of imported gas), creates additional economic activity through installation and manufacture (e.g. the heat pump factory in Livingston), and removes fossil price instability as a driver of fuel poverty.

For further information:

Version 1.0: September 2023

The contents of this document will be updated on a regular basis.