Rishi Sunak faces backlash over step back from Net Zero promises
Patrick Harvie has been blasted over new plans to fine homeowners and reject mortgages over new hardline plans to force Scots to adopt zero-carbon heating systems by just 2033.
The Scottish Government minister announced plans yesterday, with a proposal for a new law that will “require homeowners to make sure that their homes meet a reasonable minimum energy efficiency standard by 2033”.
Private landlords will have to meet the deadline five years earlier, in 2028.
While the UK Government has scrapped proposals to force landlords to spend “substantial sums of money” on home energy efficiency improvements, the Scottish Government has been warned enforcing rural properties to switch could cost up to £30,000.
Along with fines and mortgage rejections, Mr Harvie announced people could have their home insurance rejected if they fail to comply.
READ MORE: Rishi Sunak warned heat pump rollout delay will ‘cost households thousands’
Landlords may also be fined for failing to meet new energy efficiency standards, with the Scottish Greens arguing it will be tenants who suffer if they fail to comply.
Scottish Tory shadow housing secretary Miles Briggs said the plans are “unrealistic and hugely expensive”, adding they mark: “the start of a ten-year time bomb 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.
“Estimates suggest it will cost over £30,000 for the majority of rural homes to achieve minimum energy efficiency standards. But there’s no sign that the cost of compliance for the average home has been investigated.
“This statement offers nothing but the imminent prospect of enormous bills for homeowners and, even sooner, those who will see rents soar as a result.”
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The proposals mean all fossil fuel heating systems in Scotland will be replaced by 2045.
Even the left-wing GMB Scotland union slammed the announcement, with Claire Greer arguing the Scottish Government is living in “cloud cuckoo land” if they believe most Scots are “willing or able to invest in heat pumps”.
“The drive towards renewable energy must be built on realistic plans not a fantasy people have upwards of £10,000 lying around to fit technology still largely untested in Scotland.
“Ministers should stop trying to bully and coerce Scots into spending money they cannot afford on technology they do not need and start building net zero on the energy sector’s existing skills, experience and infrastructure.”
Writing in the pro-independence outfit The National, a Scottish Green Party member blasted Mr Harvie’s announcement, accusing his policies of “ lacking any credible substance as to how they might be achieved?”
“If we can’t at present even provide enough homes, of any standard, for everyone that needs them, far less have almost any built to the standards of insulation that were commonplace in Scandinavia even 30 years ago, how on earth are we going to do so now and also convert all homes to greener forms of insulation and heating by any foreseeable date, far less that set out in the Scottish Government’s proposals?”
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