Patrick Harvie: All homes will have to meet energy efficiency standards by 2033

The Zero Carbon Buildings minister also said all homes would need to replace gas boilers by 2045.

Patrick Harvie: All homes will have to meet energy efficiency standards by 2033 Flickr

All homeowners will need to make sure their properties meet minimum energy efficiency standards by 2033 under the Scottish Government’s latest plans.

However, minister Patrick Harvie admitted that an initial target for one million homes to have low or zero-emission heating by 2030 will not be met until later in the decade.

In a consultation published on Thursday by the Scottish Green minister, all homes and buildings will need to replace gas boilers with clean devices like heat pumps by 2045 at the latest.

Harvie sought to contrast the Government’s “ambitious” plan for clean heating with that of the UK Government, which recently delayed the phasing-out of new gas boilers to 2035.

The Conservatives accused Harvie of creating a “10-year timebomb” for homeowners, saying the full costs of the required changes are unclear.

The Zero Carbon Buildings minister told MSPs: “The timeline I’m outlining today sees Scotland on by far the most ambitious path within the UK, with the deployment of clean heating systems at scale and pace very much faster than the prevailing take-up rate.”

In a change from the Government’s previous plans, Harvie said both off-grid and on-grid homes would now follow the same timeline taking effect from 2028.

He continued: “Our intention for clean heat to play the maximum possible role in our 2030 climate plans would have meant more than a million homes decarbonising by 2030.

“The single timeline that I’ve now set out from 2028 means that scale of change is not achievable by that date and more of the transition to clean heat shifts into the early 2030s instead.”

From 2028, private landlords will need to ensure their properties meet the minimum energy efficiency standards, after which they will not be allowed to lease to a new tenant if standards are not met.

Homeowners will need to ensure their property meets these standards by 2033, though the Government is not proposing a ban on sales for those who do not.

The consultation document sets out several requirements for the minimum energy efficiency standard- including 270mm loft insulation, draught-proofing and cavity wall insulation.

It says homeowners who install “as many measures as is feasible” would meet the standard.

The Conservatives’ Miles Briggs said the Government had not worked out how much the average homeowner would need to pay to meet the requirements, saying some rural homes would face bills of more than £30,000.

He said: “Patrick Harvie’s unrealistic and hugely expensive plan marks the start of a 10-year timebomb for over half of Scotland’s homeowners.

“This looks set to be a repeat of the fire alarms fiasco – but on steroids.

“He has a timescale but not a plan on how it will be achieved.

“And there is nothing to provide reassurance that ministers understand the true costs which homeowners the length and breadth of Scotland will face.”

Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur said the Government had “downgraded” its plans to decarbonise buildings.

He said: “What was a clear mission to get one million homes onto climate friendly heating by 2030 has now gone.”

McArthur said a Government scheme to upgrade private rented homes had only been used by 215 properties in three years.

Harvie said his plans are in “very sharp contrast” with the UK Government’s announcement on environmental targets.

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