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Energy minister warns that homeowners may in future be legally required to improve energy efficiency

Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse MSP (Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament)
Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse MSP (Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament)

HOMEOWNERS could be legally required to improve the energy efficiency of their house, SNP ministers have revealed.

The Scottish Government has admitted that it might need to force owner occupiers to install measures such as loft insulation in a bid to cut climate change levels.

However, energy minister Paul Wheelhouse said that a plan to make all homes meet one of the top Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) ratings might require legislation if not enough progress has been made by 2030.

Experts say the move will cost billions of pounds and it is not clear how the plan would be enforced.

Speaking at a fringe meeting during the SNP conference last week, Mr Wheelhouse said: “2030 is a key milestone for the owner occupier sector, we’re trying to use voluntary means at the moment – by providing incentives, loan funding and other methods – to get owner occupiers to move to energy performance certificate C by 2030.”

Anyone selling their home requires an EPC measurement of their property which is based on the letters A to G, with A being the most efficient property and G the least.

Professor Karen Turner, director of the Centre for Energy Policy at Strathclyde University’s International Public Policy Institute, said: “It could be a double-edged sword. It is something where we all know the benefits for our homes and the environment but there is still a barrier for many people in saying, well what difference will it really make?”

David Weatherall, head of policy at the Energy Saving Trust, added: “The Energy Saving Trust strongly welcomes Scotland’s planned trajectory for energy efficiency improvements to the homes, laid out in the Routemap for the Energy Efficient Scotland programme.”