Changeworks is calling for collaboration between the UK and Scottish Governments to address the current energy crisis by tackling energy inefficiency in homes.
Moves to ensure homes are better insulated and more energy efficient will shield householders from the current and future crises, and ensure Scotland remains on track for its Net Zero target of 2045.
The energy price cap is to rise significantly in October, with further sharp rises predicted in January and April 2023. An unprecedented number of people will find themselves in fuel poverty this winter, meaning they spend 10 per cent or more of their income on fuel.
Those already struggling with the cost of energy are now facing even greater stresses on their already stretched finances.
Recent Changeworks research found that home energy costs are the top concern for almost nine in 10 householders. The majority of Scots are currently cutting back on regular expenses and expect rising costs to change their spending plans for at least a year.
There is only limited confidence that this will become easier longer term, with 76% already using less energy at home.
Teresa Bray, Changeworks CEO, said: “Our Affordable Warmth Services team, who advise those in energy debt, are seeing record numbers of calls. Fuel poverty has a profoundly negative effect on people’s wellbeing and health, and we are dealing with more and more increasingly complex and dire cases.”
The limited financial support announced earlier in the year by the UK Government is far from sufficient. Short-term, limited support with bills will do little to tackle the underlying issues fueling the rising cost of heating our homes. Poorly insulated homes are making fuel poverty worse and contributing to climate change.
Heating space and hot water accounts for 79% of energy used in the home. Investing in insulation to reduce heat lost through the roof, walls, floor and windows has never been more important. It will make the amount of energy that people can afford go further in keeping our homes warm.
A well-insulated home makes sense in the long term and is a vital part of the move to a low carbon future. With the price of gas rising faster than electricity, the move to air source heat pumps and solar thermal is a viable option.
The installation of solar panels and battery storage can also shield householders from volatility in the energy market.
Improving the energy efficiency of Scotland’s homes and buildings is the only long term and sustainable option to eradicate fuel poverty, improve national fuel security, and tackle the climate crisis.
Teresa Bray went on to say: “Delivering high quality energy efficiency and renewable technologies is critical to protect consumers from volatile fossil fuel markets, reduce fuel poverty and tackle the climate emergency.
“Any immediate measure which disrupts this long-term progress, such as cutting green levies from fuel bills without being replaced by direct government funding, is detrimental for not only Scotland’s, but the planet’s future.”
For people currently concerned about their energy bills and looking to improve the energy efficiency of their home, Changeworks is part of the Home Energy Scotland network funded by the Scottish Government.
Home Energy Scotland provides free impartial advice and access to funding, for energy saving, keeping warm at home, and lowering the carbon impact of your home. You can contact by phone on 0808 808 2282 or visit their website via www.homeenergyscotland.org.
Changeworks delivers Home Energy Scotland in the south east and Highlands and Islands on behalf of the Scottish Government and Energy Saving Trust.
As well as providing free, impartial expert advice to thousands of people every month to help them to keep warm in their homes for less, they identify funding opportunities for households seeking to install energy efficiency measures.
For more information, give Home Energy Scotland a call on 0808 808 2282 or email and the team will be happy to help you.