November 28

Landlords Denounce Government Eco-Scheme as Ineffective


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The Liberal Democrats argue that the UK government’s initiative to aid landlords in retrofitting their properties for energy efficiency has yielded minimal impact. Spearheaded by the Scottish Government, led by the Scottish National Party and the Green Party in a loose alliance, the Private Rented Sector Landlord scheme was introduced to assist registered landlords in enhancing the warmth and energy efficiency of their properties.

Despite the scheme’s intentions, the Liberal Democrats contend that its effectiveness has been negligible. The goal was to address energy inefficiency in rental properties, but according to the Liberal Democrats, the impact falls significantly short of expectations. This assessment raises questions about the strategy’s implementation and prompts a closer examination of the challenges hindering its success.

In response to a Freedom of Information request, the government revealed that a mere 0.06% of properties, totaling 215, have benefited from the Private Rented Sector Landlord Loan scheme. Established over three years ago with a £2.5 million allocation, the scheme aimed to facilitate retrofitting measures for energy efficiency in rental properties. However, the data indicates that only 190 properties received funding for general energy efficiency improvements like insulation, while a mere 26 obtained funding for renewable energy measures such as heat pumps.

According to Scottish Lib Dem climate emergency spokesperson Liam McArthur, these figures illustrate the scheme’s minimal impact on landlords. The disparity between the intended objectives and the actual outcomes prompts scrutiny of the scheme’s effectiveness and the need for reevaluation.

He contends, “This is meant to be a key initiative by the Scottish Government for greener, more energy-efficient homes, yet its impact is almost negligible. The low participation and lack of a comprehensive approach suggest that the scheme was hastily put together without a thorough understanding of how to achieve warmer, eco-friendly homes for private rental residents.

“If the Scottish government is genuinely committed to prioritizing energy efficiency, it must ensure that schemes offer the right incentives and actively promote participation. This is the only way to make significant strides in decarbonizing homes and alleviating fuel poverty.

“On a broader scale, Scottish Liberal Democrats will persist in advocating for a nationwide emergency insulation program for all homes, with a special focus on those that are difficult to heat. This approach will expedite progress toward creating properties that are both financially and environmentally sustainable.”

A statement from the Scottish Government to local media notes, “Homes in the private rented sector often lag behind in energy efficiency compared to other properties. We acknowledge that private tenants desire their landlords to allocate a portion of rental income for enhancing property warmth, reducing heating costs, and addressing fuel poverty.

“The scheme operates based on demand. We encourage private sector landlords keen to learn more about the scheme to get in touch with Home Energy Scotland.

“Unlike the UK Government, we have not abandoned the plan to establish energy efficiency standards for private rented homes. Comprehensive details will be included in our Heat in Buildings consultation set to be released next week.”



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Energy Efficient Homes UK, Scottish Government

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