Greens offer pledge on home insulation

ALIS BALLANCE, who tops the South of Scotland regional list for the Scottish Greens, has this week highlighted research which, she says, shows the extent to which the SNP’s means-tested Home Insulation Scheme has failed.

She claims that in the first two years of the scheme, 46,721 of households in the south, including the Borders, were visited by contractors, but only 2.8 per cent received any actual insulation work. Just 295 households received cavity wall insulation, 142 had full loft insulation and 880 were given top-ups to existing loft insulation, according to an analysis by the Energy Savings Trust.

“Nationally, the SNP’s flawed scheme cost a staggering £1,600 per insulation job done, while at this rate it would take more than 200 years to insulate every home in Scotland,” said Mrs Ballance.

“The Scottish Greens are instead proposing a £100million-a-year universal home insulation scheme, fitting loft and cavity wall insulation on a free-of-charge, area-by-area basis, as well as soft loans for more expensive work on hard-to-insulate homes, repayable only when the property is sold.

“Across the South of Scotland, it seems all the SNP’s failed insulation scheme has achieved is a lot of knocking on doors and virtually no actual insulation. The next Parliament will have to start again to get the job done properly, area-by-area, street-by-street and door-by door.

“That remains the most cost-effective way to cut fuel bills, to tackle climate change and fuel poverty, and to create thousands of new jobs in the construction sector.

“The SNP approach has been extraordinarily bureacratic and financially inefficient, and the schemes proposed by other parties in their manifestos are inadequate and under-funded. The Green approach will get the job done cheaply and efficiently.

“Securing a proper insulation scheme will be one of our top priorities in the next session of Parliament.”