Home insulation scheme labelled ‘a joke’ as applications paused

Government programme offering free insulation to those at risk of fuel poverty has been put on hold.

Government’s home insulation scheme labelled ‘a joke’ as applications paused PA Media

The Scottish Government’s flagship energy efficiency scheme offering free insulation to those at risk of fuel poverty has been paused to new applicants until October.

The Liberal Democrats are seeking answers on why new requests for help to Warmer Homes Scotland have been put on hold.

Designed to reduce fuel bills by making homes more energy efficient, it offers free installation of measures such as wall and loft insulation to those in homes with poor energy ratings and who are in receipt of certain benefits.

Other energy efficiency schemes are delivered by councils or are based on loans and cashback for home energy improvements.

Warmer Homes Scotland has helped more than 25,000 properties since its launch in 2015.

The website of Home Energy Scotland, which helps to administer the scheme, says it has been paused to new applications until Monday October 2.

Lib Dem MSP Willie Rennie said the scheme is moving too slowly and at the current rate it would take more than a century to insulate every fuel poor household in Scotland.

He said: “Everyone deserves a warm and secure home, but getting your property up to scratch can be complicated and expensive.

“At the moment the Scottish Government support scheme is a joke.

“If it continues at the present rate it will take them 165 years to get the job done.

“At the moment you can’t even apply to the programme.

“Insulation and other energy efficiency measures are crucial ways to bring down people’s bills and tackle the climate crisis at the same time, but ministers seem content to work at a snail’s pace.

“The SNP-Green Government need to explain why the scheme has been frozen until October and why they are so slow to insulate people’s homes.”

The scheme is designed to reduce fuel bills by making homes more energy efficient

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We are relaunching a new and improved Warmer Homes Scotland scheme from October with more funding and more help for households to receive a climate-friendly heating system.

“Over the last eight years the current scheme has helped 32,000 households to tackle fuel poverty.

“Because the new scheme has different rules and offers expanded help, we need to allow a period where we complete current applications in the pipeline, work for which will be happening right through the summer and gear up for the new scheme.

“Any applications now will be eligible for help when it starts.

“At the same time, however, all our other schemes continue. These include our area based schemes which tackle fuel poverty at a neighbourhood level, and our Home Energy Scotland grant scheme which offers the most generous help for heating and energy efficiency in the UK.

“The First Minister also recently announced the trebling of the Fuel Insecurity Fund to £30 million this year.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code